'A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene'
Henry V, Prologue
Henry V’s address to his troops on St Crispin’s Day is among the most famous verse in all Shakespeare. It is a speech that embodies the spirit of the play in which the civil unrest of the previous History plays has been replaced by a portrait of the nation united in war against France. Henry V is Shakespeare’s most heroic warrior king, but for all the stirring verse, there is romance, humour and vivid depictions of the horrors of war.
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