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Saturday, 21 August 2010

Henry V, an English icon revisited (the icon series)

henry v of england Painting is in "The Ro...Image via Wikipedia
Henry V (16 September 1386* – 31 August 1422) is an English icon embedded in our cultural identity. This is largely due to William Shakespeare’s immortal play “The Chronicle History of Henry V” and its two prequels concerning his father’s reign. The medieval king from the house of Lancaster has been painted in literature as the archetypical English hero. He begins as the roguish tearaway Prince Hal in his youth, son of the usurper Henry of Bollingbroke now known as Henry IV, but becomes a pious and gallant warrior who cements his reputation when he defeats the French on their home ground at the Battle of Agincourt. This symbolic and yet short-lived battle is where the mythology of Henry V begins. Like many icons, Henry V’s legend began during his lifetime. He was purposefully modelled by his propaganda in a way that was so convincing that it has inspired many people up to the present day. However, as primary source evidence indicates, Henry V was also responsible for several atrocities during his lifetime and, in particular, during 1415 when he fought his most famous battle.