Henry the Just or Henry the Strong Analytical Essay by Taylor Hall

Henry the Just or Henry the Strong
A discussion of two film interpretations of Shakespeare's "King Henry the Fifth".
# 45740 | 1,782 words | 0 sources | 2003 | CA
Published on Nov 19, 2003 in English (Analysis) , Film (Analysis, Criticism, Etc.) , Shakespeare (Henry IV, V)

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Lawrence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh both produced film versions of Henry V, but they were both very different interpretations. This paper concentrates on Act I Scene I and discusses both directors' editing of the original play and how that affected the portrayal of "King Henry V".

From the Paper:

"A good king is a moral one who listens to his advisors, who fights only just wars and who has overcome youthful wildness to emerge as a man "full of grace and fair regard" (1.1.22). Or, a good king is a strong one who makes his own decisions, who fights any wars that benefit his country, and who has never had any youthful wildness to overcome. Shakespeare leaves the interpretation of his king in King Henry the Fifth to the audience, and Henry's character has subsequently been performed in multiple ways. Lawrence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh both portray Henry as a good king in their screen adaptations of the play, but Olivier tends towards the former version of Henry as the morally just king and Branagh is more inclined to the latter version of Henry as the strong but immoral king."

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