Henry V Gender Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
'In terram Salicam mulieres ne succedant:''No woman shall succeed in Salic land:'Which Salic land the French unjustly glozeTo be the realm of France, and PharamondThe founder of this law and female bar. (1.2.2)
Here we learn about the Salic Law in France, which says women can't inherit the throne and their sons can never inherit the throne through the female line. This is a pretty rigid way to establish the lines of succession, don't you think?
They would have me asfamiliar with men's pockets as their gloves or theirhandkerchers: which makes much against my manhood,if I should take from another's pocket to put intomine; for it is plain pocketing up of wrongs. Imust leave them, and seek some better service:their villany goes against my weak stomach, andtherefore I must cast it up. (3.3.3)
Here, the unnamed Boy criticizes Bardolph and Nim for stealing and declares that thievery goes "against [his] manhood," as if breaking the law makes one weak and effeminate. Throughout the Henry plays, Shakespeare has associated unruliness with effeminacy, especially in Henry IV Part 1, where women are often associated with rebellion.
CATHARINE Alice, tu as ete en Angleterre, et tu parles bien le langage.[Alice, you've been in England and you speak the language well.]ALICE Un peu, madame.[A little, madame.]CATHARINE Je te prie, m'enseignez: il faut que j'apprenne aparler. [Please teach me. I must learn to speak it]. (3.4.1)
When we translate these lines into English, it becomes pretty clear that Catherine is only interested in learning English because her father plans to marry her off to an English king. This reminds us that Shakespeare never actually reveals to us Catherine's interests and desires, which suggests that they're not even relevant.