5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
`A little touch of Harry in the night.',
This review is from: Henry V (The New Penguin Shakespeare) (Mass Market Paperback)
I have seen so many film versions of this, with so many different angles I thought it was about time I took a look at the original text. Henry V isn't an enjoyable play to read but it is rewarding. There is humour, tragedy and love (of a sort). But what I discovered when reading the text is that there are so many versions of the one mad. Henry is King, lover, soldier, orator but is he a good man? On the eve of battle Henry goes amongst his men, talks to them as an equal, and exudes greatness. But he is dressed in disguise and travels at night all clear Shakespearean symbols of deceit and untrustworthiness. And the speech he delivers at Harfleur is guaranteed to make your blood run cold.
The play picks up with Henry as king and holds him up as a man. The youthful indiscretions of Prince Hal are no more (don't worry it is possible to read Henry V without reading the other Henry plays). He has cut his ties with those characters of his youth, and indeed Falstaff is only ever mentioned off stage. We see him justify a battle, win a war and win hearts as well as wreak death and destruction. But one thing I am sure of, Henry V is a great play if not a great man. I would thoroughly recommend `A little touch of Harry in the night.' (Henry V, 4. 1)