Main MenuOverview by Sujata Iyengar and Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin'Henry V' : A Guide to Early Printed Editions by Daniel Yabut“with rough and all-unable pen…” : Source Study and Historiography in Shakespeare’s 'Henry V' by Mikaela LaFavePistol and Monsieur Le Fer: An Anglo-French Encounter by Charlène CruxentUniversité Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, IRCL, UMR5186 CNRSMaking & Unmaking National Identity: Race & Ethnicity in Shakespeare’s 'Henry V' by Nora Galland'Henry V' Onstage: From the Falklands War to Brexit (1986-2018) by Janice Valls-RussellThe Problematic Reception of 'Henry V' in France: A Case Study by Florence March“For ’tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings”: Henry’s Popular Afterlives by Philip Gilreath“On your imaginary forces work”: How 'Henry V'’s Chorus Changes the Play Text during Olivier’s Film by Julia KoslowskyA Guide to Teaching 'Henry V' and its Sources by Hayden BensonStudy QuestionsKey Scenes and Speeches from 'Henry V'Back Matter
“For tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings”: Henry’s Popular Afterlives, Page Four
12019-06-17T17:55:03-07:00Margaret Drydene495a2b34ce16b3b4f627260f96e0854f2e43c21296033“For tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings”: Henry’s Popular Afterlives, by Philip Gilreath, read by Philip Gilreathplain2019-06-23T20:00:58-07:00SoundCloud2019/06/17 17:57:32 +0000638098332Focus on Henry Vall-rights-reservedMargaret Drydene495a2b34ce16b3b4f627260f96e0854f2e43c21
12019-02-24T20:38:18-08:00Conclusion3plain2019-06-17T17:59:21-07:00Page Four Audio File In the end, as Shakespeare’s prologue suggests, the audience is responsible for filling the breach. Henry V begins with the idea that it is selling a fiction, that the only real tool at its disposal is its rhetoric, which the audience must internalize and transform in order to validate, to prove the legitimacy of the dramatic enterprise. The prologue states:
For ’tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings, Carry them here and there, jumping o’er times, Turning th’ accomplishment of many years Into an hour-glass… (29-33, my emphasis)
Henry promises an identity in exchange for his followers’ participation in his campaign; similarly, the prologue enlists the audience as necessary participants in the reification of its mythologized account of English success. As long as the performance lasts, as long as the empty breach of the stands is filled, the assemblage of performer and audience partake of an illusory sense of unity. A successful fiction consolidates its spectators and unifies them in a communal affirmation of the play’s proceedings. Part of this unification involves a suspension or temporary negation of the audience’s context, their status as individuals. The gambit of Shakespeare’s play is thus the gambit of its fledgling king, as he assimilates and transforms spectators into active participants in his singular aim. What begins in Shakespeare’s original as a fraught solution to disunity, the words of a king who must prove his legitimacy, has become its own sort of legitimizing tool, an identity-forming ritual whose only assurance is its continued, mutual need for reaffirmation.