The Pathetic Appeal in King Henry’s “Band of Brothers” Speech
The following speech is taken from Shakespeare’s play, Henry V (Henry the Fifth). Here, the army of King Henry is preparing to face the forces of France, who vastly outnumber his own dwindling forces. In order to check on the morale of his troops, Henry has disguised himself as a common soldier to move among his men and eavesdrop on their conversations. He learns that they are very much afraid and that some of them wish to break ranks and run. One of his generals, the Earl of Westmorland, cries out that he wishes they had another 10,000 soldiers so that it would at least be a fair fight. At that moment, Henry throws off his disguise and presents the following speech, chock-full of pathetic appeal, in order to invoke the particular emotions that will prepare his men for the bloody fight against a superior force. Henry’s army will win this battle, which will be decisive and end the war with victory going to England. This speech, Shakespeare implies, was instrumental in securing Henry’s victory over the full might of the French army.
Your assignment is first of all to identify the particular emotions Henry invokes and then to discuss the particular way in which he invokes them. For this second task, ask yourself
A) What is the typical state of mind of those who experience these emotions? That is, what do you imagine are the basic feelings that, when combined, give rise to those emotions?
B) What vivid images associated with those feelings does Henry paint in the minds of his men? And C) towards whom are each of these emotions directed?
(Assignment length: approximately 300 words)
“Band of Brothers” Speech
from Henry V by William Shakespeare
WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!
KING. What’s he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian.’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.’
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Focus
Journal establishes and sustains a narrow focus on the particular rhetorical elements at work in the reading selection as assigned.
This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Development
Thesis is well supported with examples from the reading selection. Analysis is accurate, reflects an understanding of the reading, and is as detailed as the word count allows. The elements of rhetorical theory assigned in the corresponding unit are used to generate genuine insight into the piece of literature being examined.
This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Style
An advanced level of written fluency is demonstrated. Writing not only clearly express thoughts, but employs the resources of sentence-structure and vocabulary to refine and arrange those thoughts.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeResearch and Documentation
Essay distinguishes ideas of the author from the ideas of other writers. Paraphrase, quotations, citations and formatting are compliant with MLA conventions of documentation.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeMinimum Requirements
To be awarded credit towards the completion of this course, assignment must meet the required word count, not be plagiarized, and/or excessively weak in Focus, Development, Documentation and/or Style.
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