Re-reading Shakespeare’s Henry V in the Context of Early Modern Warfare

By Dong-ha Seo.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Interpretations of Shakespeare’s Henry V have become the dominant discussion and have
varied hugely as the play has come in and out of fashion. Recently our experience of war on terror
has also used Henry V as a way of viewing our feelings towards the current war. As this paper explores,
the question of how effectively Shakespeare’s language on war could be usable for political propaganda
can be answered by looking into various pressures and demands placed on him during the war against
Spain. Since the role and significance of the theatre in times of war have developed using Shakespeare’s
language, this paper also suggests that reading of Shakespeare’s Henry V is like using a mirror to
help us to look back how our thought on war have been profoundly affected by militaristic language.

Keywords: Shakespeare, Henry V, Spanish Armada, Tamburlaine, The Shoemaker’s Holiday, Militarism, Theatre, War

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 9, pp.63-76. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 644.020KB).

Dr. Dong-ha Seo

Lecturer, English Department, Korea Military Academy, Seoul, South Korea

As an active military officer and lecturer in the military school, I am interested in war literature. I am also currently undertaking doctoral programme at the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham. During my research on Shakespeare, I have been fascinated by early modern military culture and I am looking into to the extent to which it has meaning to us today.

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