King Henry Rhetorical Analysis

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King Henry uses Aristotle’s three Appeals to assuage the fears of his soldiers and to inspire unyielding confidence and passion. Two nights before a great battle to retake France’s land, King Henry of England disguises himself as a common soldier to discover the sentiment of his army. However, outnumbered and afraid of dying, the men tells the disguised King Henry about their reluctance to head into battle. Consequently, the next day, King Henry decides to raise his army’s morale through a speech. King Henry begins by appealing to the men’s sense of logic, using logos to argue that no more men are needed for the battle: “If we are mark’d to die, we are enow / to do our country loss; and if to live, / the fewer men, the greater share of honour”…show more content…
But more importantly, if the small army wins, fewer men means a greater share of honor for those who survive. Following this indisputable logic, Henry uses ethos to increase his credibility with his men: “I am not covetous for gold, / Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost; / It yearns me not if me my garments wear; / such outward things dwell not in my desires” (7 – 10). King Henry claims that he does not care about gold, wealth, or outward appearances. Given that a large portion of his army was poor and often abused by egocentric kings like Richard II, this claim was a great change of pace, which motivates the men to help King Henry. Subsequently, King Henry moves on to tell the men about the fame they will receive by fighting and living on Saint Crispian’s day, using pathos to appeal to the men’s emotions: “And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by, / from this day to the ending of the world, / But we in it shall be remembered-” (40 - 42). After reminding the men of the great respect they will earn in battle, the men realize how winning their battle would have many benefits. Instantly emotionally invested in a victory, the men become more motivated to
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