Study Guide

Henry V Plot Analysis

By William Shakespeare

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Plot Analysis

Initial Situation

Henry is thinking of making a claim to the French throne.

Now that Henry V has settled in as the King of England, he needs some excitement in his life. Plus, he's always wanted a vacation house in France...


The Dauphin sends Henry a chest of tennis balls.

Unfortunately for Henry, the French want nothing to with him. When the Dauphin sends Henry a chest of tennis balls (a major dis), Henry is furious.


Henry declares war and invades France.

It doesn't take much for the Archbishop of Canterbury to convince Henry to invade France. Since his great-great-grandmother was the daughter of the French King Phillip IV, Henry thinks he's the legitimate heir to the French throne. (Why not? Two crowns are always better than one.) Things seem to be going well when Henry sacks the town of Harfleur, but then his soldiers begin to get sick and complain of exhaustion.


Henry gives his "St. Crispin's Day" speech.

Before the Battle of Agincourt, Henry delivers a famous inspirational speech to convince his troops that they should fight with him, even though they'll probably die in the process.


The French declare Henry the victor.

Miraculously, the English troops pummel the French. Still, will France say "uncle"? After some negotiating, Montjoy declares that Henry's army has won the day.


Henry woos Catherine.

At the French palace, Henry puts the moves on King Charles' VI's daughter, Catherine. Henry says he loves her but we also know that a marriage would unite England and France.



Henry signs a peace treaty with Catherine's dad, which stipulates that Henry gets to marry Catherine. Time for wedding cake!

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