Henry V, Sympathy, Rhetoric
In Shakespeare's Henry V, Henry is often seen as a manipulative figure who uses his powerful rhetoric in order to accomplish a self-serving political agenda. Arguably, Henry's greatest power is his rhetoric, and critics often cite this as his most manipulative tool-the means though which he accomplishes his own selfish desires. Rather than praising his rhetorical abilities, critics question Henry's motives and point to his rhetoric as the proof of his manipulation. However, "The Role of Sympathy in Henry V's Rhetoric" provides a different view of Henry. I argue that because Adam Smith's concept of sympathy contributes a great deal to the foundation of rhetoric, Henry's character changes. The role that sympathy plays in Henry's rhetoric changes Henry from a solely manipulative individual to a character able to feel and identify with his audiences. Understanding the role sympathy plays in rhetoric is crucial to understanding Henry.
Intensive reading, discussion, and (in some sections) viewing of plays from the comedy, tragedy, romance, and history genres.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Ficklin, Kaylee, "The Role of Sympathy in Henry V's Rhetoric" (2013). Student Works. 105.
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