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Henry V: Ideal Christian King and Royal Bearing Essay

In King Henry V, King Henry is a man of Christian values and a solid foundation of moral principles. Through careful analysis of the entire play, one is able to confirm that he conducts himself with royal bearing. King Henry is “no tyrant but a Christian king” who is “a true lover of the Holy Church”. This highlights the idea that King Henry is of royal bearing as he acts in accordance with good Christian values. He questions whether he “may [… ] with right and conscience make [a] claim to the throne of France”. Surely a man who only takes what he believes belongs to him is of an elevated moral standing and Christian divinity.

King Henry says to his men at Harfleur that “[I]n peace there’s nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility”. A ruler who practices and preaches such Christian values conducts himself with royal bearing. King Henry insists that “[he] would have all such offenders cut off” when news of Bardolph’s inexcusable crime reaches him. Executing a soldier and countrymen is no pleasant task. However, King Henry once again clearly demonstrates royal bearing and acts according to strong Christian values when making a decision regarding Bardolph. When [King Henry] speaks, [… ] the mute wonder lurketh in men’s ears to steal his sweet and honeyed sentences”. He inspires his men at Harfleur to “imitate the action of the tiger [and] conjure up the blood”.

Only a man of royal bearing preaching Christian values can arouse such patriotism in the hearts and minds of his followers. King Henry makes several references to God to ensure that he “delivers [his] puissance unto God”. He strongly believes in the idea that “God [is] before [… ] and beside him in all his action”. Everything “lies [… within the will of God”. These open references to God establish King Henry’s character as one of Christian spirituality and royal bearing. King Henry believes that “if you will France win, then first with Scotland begin”. He refuses to go to war with France unless England and its people are protected in his absence. Once again, King Henry proves he is of royal bearing. Therefore, through carefull analysis of the entire play, one is able to confirm that King Henry is a Christian king who conducts himself with royal bearing.


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