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Shakespeare’s Crafting of the Ideal King in Henry V


Malladi, Chaitanya Lakshmidhar (2015) Shakespeare’s Crafting of the Ideal King in Henry V. Other, California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/2B07-N545.


[Introduction] In Shakespeare’s history Henry V, the playwright depicts the reign of King Harry— specifically with respect to his claim to the throne of France and his subsequent invasion. In the prequel to this play, Henry IV, Harry is shown as an impetuous young boy who engages in mischief around town with his immature friends. However, by the end of the first part of Henry IV, Harry matures and becomes a brave, strong warrior on the battlefield as well as a courageous, honorable man. He is ultimately portrayed as the rightful heir to the throne. At the beginning of Henry V, the audience sees a mature king who has been in charge of the kingdom for some time already. While Shakespeare bases his plays on historical events as documented in works like Raphael Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, the playwright uses his literary liberty to alter the chronological order of events and even sometimes the actions that certain characters take or do not take. Shakespeare’s dramatization of several historical elements of Holinshed serves to aggrandize the glory and maturity of Henry V as a just, idealized king; with his decisions to change what is written in the history books, Shakespeare highlights the king’s military aptitude, his modesty in dealing with his soldiers and citizens, and his political savviness.

Item Type:Thesis (Other)
Subject Keywords:Henry V ; Shakespeare ; Hallett Smith Prize ; Hallett Smith Prize for Essay Devoted to Shakespeare ; Hixon Writing Center
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Biology and Biological Engineering
Major Option:Bioengineering
Minor Option:English
Awards:Hallett Smith Prize, 2015.
Thesis Availability:Restricted to Caltech community only
Research Advisor(s):
  • Unknown, Unknown
Group:Hixon Writing Center, Hallett Smith Prize
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:21 February 2015
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:04062016-111338363
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9653
Deposited By: Leslie Rico
Deposited On:04 Nov 2016 21:47
Last Modified:29 Sep 2020 18:50

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