Henry V Shakespeare's History

Updated: 2/26/2019
Henry V Shakespeare's History
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Shakespeare Comedies Lesson Plans

Types of Shakespeare Plays

By Rebecca Ray and Kristy Littlehale

No matter what they were named, William Shakespeare’s plays would still be great works of art, so it may not matter what we call them. Generally though, Shakespeare wrote three types of plays: Tragedy, Comedy, and History. These names help us understand the archetypes of a play and better analyze its events. After all, The Comedy of Romeo and Juliet would be a very different play from The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Perhaps it would be a farce about two star-crossed lovers, doomed to suffer humorous mistakes of identity and bumbling servants. It wouldn’t be the story of woe we are all so familiar with.

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Storyboard Description

Henry V Shakespeare's History | Teaching Shakespearean histories

Storyboard Text

  • Henry V
  • History
  • English History
  • Propaganda
  • Embellished Plot
  • The Battle of Agincourt (1415), a major turning point in the Hundred Years War, took place in Henry V's reign. This was an important event in British history because England and France were in a power struggle over the French crown. ​
  • When Shakespeare wrote the play, around 1599, England was engaged in a drawn out war with Spain. Queen Elizabeth I had no heir to succeed her. Shakespeare was possibly using this play to compare the past events of Henry V to contemporary England. ​
  • Although Shakespeare's histories were built on facts, not all parts were factual. Some characters were created simply for comedic relief, namely: Mistress Quickly, Pistol, and Bardolph, commoners with some connection to the King​.