Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version
The protagonist of the play is Henry V, Shakespeare's own favorite king and the favorite of the English nation. He is a practical man who combines strength of character with a joyous humor, justice with bravery, dignity with simplicity, piety with martial enthusiasm. He is an ideal king in whom all good national qualities are seen in their highest perfection.
The Dauphin, the eldest son of the French King Charles VI, is the antagonist of this play. He is the moving spirit of the French court. He stupidly imagines that he would bring the English King in a chariot as a captive. However, he has underestimated the strength of his opponent.
Climax is reached in Act IV, Scene 5, in which the English score a decisive victory over the French at Agincourt and the French are in full flight. This is the scene in which the Dauphin, Orleans, Bourbon, Rambures and the Constable retire in great distress.
The outcome of the play is beneficial for England. All the English demands are accepted by the French, including Henry's marriage to Katharine. Henry is recognized as heir to the throne of France. All wish that England and France may never again be enemies in war.