Henry V | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Course Hero. "Henry V Study Guide." November 28, 2016. Accessed June 3, 2020. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Henry-V/.

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Course Hero, "Henry V Study Guide," November 28, 2016, accessed June 3, 2020, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Henry-V/.

Henry V | Epilogue | Summary

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Summary

The chorus wraps up the play by apologizing yet again for its roughness and asking the audience to accept it anyway. He tells the audience that Henry V's efforts to regain France were undone by his son, Henry VI, who became king as an infant.

Analysis

The chorus's epilogue highlights the limitations of conquest, of life, and of theater. Henry V's conquest of France was extremely short-lived, and all the work, suffering, and violence of the war waged under his rule came to very little in the end. Henry V's life, too, was limited. He lived only two years after his conquest of France, and his son, Henry VI, was crowned king when he was still an infant. Theater, too, has limits. According to the chorus the story just portrayed on the stage was "rough" and did not do justice to the king—"this star of England." Given the play's emphasis on how Henry manages to exceed limitations in order to fulfill his role as king and expand his kingdom, the epilogue is surprisingly anticlimactic.

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