Henry V by William Shakespeare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Do I hear the drums of war? Hal has drawn all the attention away from divided England with a time-honored ploy of kings of any unsure stripe... Let's kick the shit out of France!
Even though Henry V is a bright light and his fortunes burn ever brighter, it's hard to go through this story without feeling a lot of heavy sorrow for how he burned up his friends in his rise and how he shed no tears as he learned of all his youthful adventurer's deaths, save one, and he was only a boy in a skirmish after the war had been won.
Truly, this play is the rock-star legend played in blood, honor, and glory. He burns so bright that he snuffs himself out in practically no time. Who knows what kind of king he would have been had he lived to know his son. *shiver* What kinds of tragedies might have been avoided, such as losing France, sending England into a 30 year civil strife, and so much grief and poverty, besides?
And yet, this is the story of the greatest King of England, the one that captures all our hearts and minds, and me, I'm not even English and I don't particularly care a whiff for royalty at all! :)
Henry IV part 1:
"Yet herein will I imitate the sun,
Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
To smother up his beauty from the world,
That, when he please again to be himself,
Being wanted, he may be more wondered at
By breaking through the foul and ugly mist
Of vapors that did seem to strangle him."
The sun shook off the base clouds, indeed, to clothed the world in his naked splendor, seeing Falstaff dead by hanging and nearly all his chums in the ground.
Is his early death his fate for having dishonored the dishonorable? *sigh*
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