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Henry V

Henry V by William Shakespeare
By: (1564-1616)

After the turmoil and uncertainty of Henry IV a new era appears to dawn for England with the accession of the eponymous Henry V. In this sunny pageant, the Chorus guides us along Henry's glittering carpet ride of success as the new king completes his transformation from rebellious wastrel to a truly regal potentate. Of course, there is an underlying feeling that the good times won't last, and this is all the more reason to enjoy the Indian summer before the protracted and bitter fall of the house of Lancaster.

First Page:

The Life of Henry the Fift

Enter Prologue.

O For a Muse of Fire, that would ascend The brightest Heauen of Inuention: A Kingdome for a Stage, Princes to Act, And Monarchs to behold the swelling Scene. Then should the Warlike Harry, like himselfe, Assume the Port of Mars, and at his heeles (Leasht in, like Hounds) should Famine, Sword, and Fire Crouch for employment. But pardon, Gentles all: The flat vnraysed Spirits, that hath dar'd, On this vnworthy Scaffold, to bring forth So great an Obiect. Can this Cock Pit hold The vastie fields of France? Or may we cramme Within this Woodden O, the very Caskes That did affright the Ayre at Agincourt? O pardon: since a crooked Figure may Attest in little place a Million, And let vs, Cyphers to this great Accompt, On your imaginarie Forces worke. Suppose within the Girdle of these Walls Are now confin'd two mightie Monarchies, Whose high, vp reared, and abutting Fronts, The perillous narrow Ocean parts asunder. Peece out our imperfections with your thoughts: Into a thousand parts diuide one Man, And make imaginarie Puissance... Continue reading book >>

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