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
Mr. W. Davidge as Pistol
12019-02-20T20:23:32-08:00Lucas Robert Vaughn2fd95f848abe6ef38fdfcb397a83f65216883bbd296035A digital scan of a drawing of Mr. W. Davidge as Pistol.meta2019-06-29T18:21:41-07:00Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image CollectionMid-19th CenturyImagePistolMeade Bros, photographerFolger Shakespeare LibraryEnglishDrawingSherratt, Thomas, printmakerN/AHayden Benson7d69b3398da384eb9196529b557c5a84032c3d8c
In Act 4, Scene 4, Pistol, a Londoner fighting in King Henry V’s army, meets the French soldier Monsieur Le Fer in Agincourt, France. Pistol interrogates his French counterpart in order to know his identity, but the communication is made difficult because of the language barrier. A character called “Boy” masters French enough to translate the two men’s words and enables the conversation to take place. Pistol takes Le Fer hostage and promises to free him once the latter gives him a significant amount of money. The French soldier agrees and even appears grateful that Pistol does not kill him on the spot. Knowing that the scene preceding this encounter displays Henry V galvanizing his troop before the decisive battle, and that the next scene announces the defeat of the French army, Act 4, Scene 4 is the only moment when the audience can observe the confrontation between a British and a French soldier. As such, this scene encapsulates the battle of Agincourt in the play. It reveals the strained Anglo-French relationships during this war: first, through Pistol’s meeting and subsequent disparaging of the Other, the French soldier, and second, through the way in which the English soldier addresses Le Fer. This exchange manifests a linguistic embodiment of the ongoing invasion of France by England. Despite Pistol’s efforts to ridicule Le Fer, the heroic figure of the English soldier is here debunked because Pistol’s words and actions contrast with the warlike attitude of his king.