Symbolism In The Wadsworth Shakespeare's Henry V

1059 Words5 Pages
Shakespeare’s Henry V as seen in ‘The Wadsworth Shakespeare Second Edition’ presents the life of King Henry V who is indomitable to prove that he is capable of ruling England as well as France. After much conflict, both internal and external, and war Henry conquers France and triumphantly returns to England wooing Katherine, the French Princess, in an effort to link both countries by marriage. Henry V is categorised by many critics as “the most controversial of all Shakespearean histories” (Alcamo), due to its many complexities. The first theatrical production of Henry V was believed to have been performed in the year 1598 (Alchin) and over the years many live performances have been presented. For such an event posters have been used and are…show more content…
The only colours used are red gold and black, they are not only symbolic but create meaning due to the ways in which they are. The red inverted triangle is representative of social hierarchy, as said before, but also is symbolic of aspects that Henry wants to attain and they way he goes about doing so. Therefore, the red is symbolic of power, action, passion, blood and fire. The gold backdrop and the figure of King Henry V is representative of Henry himself and what he achieved after the war. Therefore, the gold is symbolic of success, wealth, triumph and power. The black is used to portray the other people involved in the play: the soldiers and the commoners. They play an important role in Henry’s victory and character development but they always lie in the shadows. Their characters are powerful and they make the play what it is but the King is always rendered superior. Black is also symbolic of death and so the literal death of soldiers in the war and Falstaff can be taken into account as well as the figurative death of Henry’s friendship with his Boar’s Head Tavern…show more content…
Act 4.8 and Act 5.Chorus represent the victory over France as seen through the image of Henry and crown of soldiers. The language used in scene 4.8 is very jubilant and gracious as they are celebrating “’Tis wonderful...God fought for us...he did us great good” (Evans, Tobin 1010). Throughout the play Henry frequently consults God and for this he is perceived by some critics as “the ideal Christian king” (Rogers). However, other critics see this as being “slightly hypocritical” (Dobski, Gish) because the ‘ideal Christian’ would not beseech God for violent motives. On the other hand, Act 5.Chorus uses language differently. The Chorus, in this instance, uses an informative and descriptive approach of the same event, written in prose as a storytelling technique “vouchsafe to those that have not read the story” (Evans, Tobin 1010). Act 4.3 represents the St. Crispin’s Day Speech showing the camaraderie of the soldiers as presented by the crown of troops in the poster. Henry uses persuasive language for his most famous speech. He encourages the soldiers to fight “with promise of kingly equality” (Rosenblum), “he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother” (Evans, Tobin 1004). He also appeals to their nobility and the speech gradually escalates creating exhilaration. Act 2.1 represents the rejection of Falstaff and the other commoners and is presented by

    More about Symbolism In The Wadsworth Shakespeare's Henry V

      Open Document