Sunday, May 20, 2012

Henry V - Book 16 of 52 in 52

Henry V by Shakespeare is one of a series of plays based on British history.  This play is based during the reign of Henry V and covers the events leading up to the Battle of Agincourt and just after during the Hundred Years' War between England and France.  Set at the waning of the Middle Ages, the play explores the basis for a modern king's authority.  Henry V cannot claim that his authority comes from God because his father overthrew the anointed king on his rise in power.  Instead of standing over his people, Henry V spends time with commoners during his youth and walks through camp in disguise to spend time with his men gaining authority on the basis of popularity.  He orchestrates spectacles to maintain that popularity.  There are also themes of patriotism (and the rousing St. Crispin's Day speech), warfare, and justice.

The most popular of Shakespeare's historical plays, I would definitely recommend this book to ages 13 and up.

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