Study Guide

Henry V Tough-o-Meter

By William Shakespeare

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If you're reading this, then you've probably already made it past the first three plays in the tetralogy: Richard II, Henry IV Part 1, and Henry IV Part 2. (Nice job, Shmoopster.) Here's some good news to keep you motivated as you head down the homestretch: Henry V is the easiest play in the history cycle. Why? Because 1) the plot is straightforward and easy to follow and 2) most readers have already got the hang of reading Shakespeare's Elizabethan English. (Yeah, yeah. We know that Henry V contains a fair amount of French, but Shakespeare translates most of it for us. Plus, any decent edition of the play will offer translations where Shakespeare doesn't.)

That said, you might want to take a quick peek at this map, especially if you need to brush up on European geography. We'd feel pretty terrible if you got lost crossing the English Channel as you follow Henry V's forces into France.

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