In the February issue of New English Review, our scholarly doctor covers various aspects of Shakespeare’s Henry V relating to warfare, political intrigue, and patriotism.
We have no great kings any more, of course, but we have great people who cannot be confined within the weak list of a country’s fashion. And since all men are created equal, they are indeed the makers of manners, not necessarily to the advantage of society as a whole. But at the very least, Henry’s pretensions to modesty are here revealed as false and hypocritical. He is every inch a king, an absolute monarch. He might even be considered a monarchical populist.