Monday, October 21, 2019
The Best Speeches from Shakespeares Henry V
The Best Speeches from Shakespeares Henry V As it has been argued that, among the best Shakespeare plays, the Henriad (a four-play cycle containing Richard II, Henry IV Parts One and Two, and Henry V) is the crowning achievement of the Immortal Bards incredible career. There are many reasons why fans laudÃ the Henry plays above the others, including the remarkable character arc; the astute blend of humor, history, and family drama; and the awesome array of battle scenes. For fans of Henry V, another reason to admire this work is that it contains some of the most powerful monologues in the English language. Listed below are three of the best speeches delivered by King Henry: Once More Unto the Breach In this scene, Henry V and his small band of English soldiers have been battling the French. Theyve gotten roughed up pretty good, and some of them are ready to give up, but when Henry delivers this motivational speech, they take charge once more and win the day. Note that, contrary to a common misconception, the first line of this speech is not Once more into the breach. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;Or close the wall up with our English dead.In peace theres nothing so becomes a manAs modest stillness and humility:But when the blast of war blows in our ears,Then imitate the action of the tiger;Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,Disguise fair nature with hard-favourd rage;Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;Let pry through the portage of the headLike the brass cannon; let the brow oerwhelm itAs fearfully as doth a galled rockOerhang and jutty his confounded base,Swilld with the wild and wasteful ocean.Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,Hold hard the breath and bend up every spiritTo his full height. On, on, you noblest English.Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,Have in these parts from morn till even foughtAnd sheathed their swords for lack of argument:Dishonour not your mothers; now attestThat those whom you calld fathers did beget you.Be copy now to men of grosser blood,And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,Whose limbs were made in England, show us hereThe mettle of your pasture; let us swearThat you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;For there is none of you so mean and base,That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,Straining upon the start. The games afoot:Follow your spirit, and upon this chargeCry God for Harry, England, and Saint George! Upon the King The night before the most monumental battle in the play, Henry looks upon his sleeping soldiers and contrasts a kings life of pomp and ceremony with the emotional life of a commoner. Upon the king! let us our lives, our souls,Our debts, our careful wives,Our children and our sins lay on the king!We must bear all. O hard condition,Twin-born with greatness, subject to the breathOf every fool, whose sense no more can feelBut his own wringing! What infinite hearts-easeMust kings neglect, that private men enjoy!And what have kings, that privates have not too,Save ceremony, save general ceremony?And what art thou, thou idle ceremony?What kind of god art thou, that sufferst moreOf mortal griefs than do thy worshippers?What are thy rents? what are thy comings in?O ceremony, show me but thy worth!What is thy soul of adoration?Art thou aught else but place, degree and form,Creating awe and fear in other men?Wherein thou art less happy being feardThan they in fearing.What drinkst thou oft, instead of homage sweet,But poisond flattery? O, be sick, great greatness,And bid thy ceremony give thee cure!Thinkst thou the fiery fever will go outWith titles blown from adulation?Will it give place to flexure and low bending?Canst thou, when thou commandst the beggars knee,Command the health of it? No, thou proud dream,That playst so subtly with a kings repose;I am a king that find thee, and I knowTis not the balm, the sceptre and the ball,The sword, the mace, the crown imperial,The intertissued robe of gold and pearl,The farced title running fore the king,The throne he sits on, nor the tide of pompThat beats upon the high shore of this world,No, not all these, thrice-gorgeous ceremony,Not all these, laid in bed majestical,Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave,Who with a body filld and vacant mindGets him to rest, crammd with distressful bread;Never sees horrid night, the child of hell,But, like a lackey, from the rise to setSweats in the eye of Phoebus and all nightSleeps in Elysium; next day after dawn,Doth rise and help Hyperion to his horse,And follows so the ever-running year,With profitable labour, to his grave:And, but for ceremony, such a wretch,Win ding up days with toil and nights with sleep,Had the fore-hand and vantage of a king.The slave, a member of the countrys peace,Enjoys it; but in gross brain little wotsWhat watch the king keeps to maintain the peace,Whose hours the peasant best advantages. St. Crispins Day Speech This is the most famous monologue from Henry V, and with good reason. These inspiring lines are delivered to the rabble of brave English soldiers who are about to go into battle (the famous Battle of Agincourt) against thousands of French knights. Outnumbered, the soldiers wish they had more men to fight, but Henry V interrupts them, declaring that they have just enough men to make history. Whats he that wishes so?My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;If we are markd to die, we are enowTo do our country loss; and if to live,The fewer men, the greater share of honor.Gods will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;It yearns me not if men my garments wear;Such outward things dwell not in my desires.But if it be a sin to covet honor,I am the most offending soul alive.No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.Gods peace! I would not lose so great an honorAs one man more methinks would share from meFor the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,That he which hath no stomach to this fight,Let him depart; his passport shall be made,And crowns for convoy put into his purse;We would not die in that mans companyThat fears his fellowship to die with us.This day is calld the feast of Crispian.He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,Will stand a tip-toe when this day is namd,And rouse him at the name of Crispian.He that shall live this day, and see old age,Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors,And say To-morrow is Saint Crispian.Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,And say These wounds I had on Crispians day.Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,But hell remember, with advantages,What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,Familiar in his mouth as household words-Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-Be in their flowing cups freshly remembred.This story shall the good man teach his son;And Crispin Crispian shall neer go by,From this day to the ending of the world,But we in it shall be remembered-We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;For he to-day that sheds his blood with meShall be my brother; be he neer so vile,This day shall gentle his condition;And gentlemen in England now-a-bedShall think themselves accursd they were not here,And hold their manho ods cheap whiles any speaksThat fought with us upon Saint Crispins day.