Henry V

Type: 
History
First Performed: 
1598-99
First Printed: 
1600
"

All things are ready, if our minds be so.

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Encouraged by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the newly crowned Henry V aspires to capture and claim the French throne as his own. He is convinced by his advisors that he has a legitimate claim to the throne, but France's King rebukes him by sending him a gift of tennis balls as an insult to his youth and lack of experience. Believing war is the only option to claim the prize of France, he mounts an army. Knowing that all is not calm at home, he also leaves a force at home to prevent rebellion.

Before he even departs for France, Henry must thwart an assassination plot by capturing and executing rebellious Lords Cambridge, Grey, and Scroop. Once in France, the English army wins a battle at Harfleur, but sickness and foul weather leave the troops disheartened. On the eve of the battle at Agincourt, King Henry disguises himself as a common soldier and, while listening to his troops, must reconcile the gravity of ruling.

Prior to battle, King Henry delivers the powerful St. Crispin's Day speech to bolster his outnumbered troops. The inspired troops win the day, and the French are forced to concede to Henry's demands for unity between France and England. His terms include marriage to Princess Katherine of France and being named heir to the throne of France.