Gender Roles In Henry V And Saint Joan

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In the both the plays Henry V by Shakespeare and Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw the theme of gender roles is prevalent throughout the stories of both. In Henry V King Henry has to follow a code of chivalry that every knight has to follow when they are officially accepted as a knight. Even many men of lesser class during this time tried to follow the same code. In Saint Joan Joan is seen as a lowly peasant girl, who has no right to be in war let alone run an army. Both of the these characters has to follow the roles that they are put into at birth in order to fit into society during their time. King Henry, being born of royal blood, was condition from a young age that he had to follow a certain set of moral ideals called the code of chivalry. King Henry was seen by his fellow men as the epitome of chivalry. A knight's loyalty is one aspect of chivalry that was very important during King Henry’s time. When King Henry learns of the treason of some of his closest knights he is taken aback. Henry says “Though the truth of your treachery is as plain as black on white, I can…show more content…
During this speech Henry appeals to the Pathos side of an argument by using emotions to try to convince his knights of their wrong doing. King Henry says “But, oh, what can I say to you, Lord Scroop? You cruel, ungrateful, savage, and inhuman creature! You who had access to all my thoughts, who knew me to the inmost part of my soul,...” (Sparknotes n.pag.) He uses emotional words and sayings like “ungrateful” and “inmost parts of my soul” to really drive home that fact that he felt personally victimized by their betrayal. Henry’s speech was relatively persuasive in the fact that he seemed to actually tell how he felt toward his men, but not really in convincing the men who already betrayed him that they did

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