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King Henry V Essay

1449 words - 6 pages

Kenneth Branaugh’s film version of William Shakespeare’s Henry V is based on the exploration of leadership. Although the film was difficult to follow at times, certain diction and actions of the characters made the film easier to follow. The diction and actions of King Henry V definitely showcased his abilities as a leader. Henry V focuses on leadership development by concentrating on succession, conflict and redemption. In the film, Henry V shows growth through stature and ability all while developing skills and credibility in the eyes of his followers. Because of this growth, Henry V comes to epitomize transformational leadership through his use of key qualities like vision and ...view middle of the document...

As a result of Henry shifting his priorities in the direction of his kingship, Henry, in essence, became viewed as brilliant, focused, fearless and committed to the responsibilities of the crown and his kingship. Henry V would then go on to lay claim to certain parts of France and eventually lead and invasion of France. It is this metamorphosis of Henry going from a young, troubled adolescent to a brilliant, committed leader that defines the meaning of transformational leadership.

So with this said, if Henry V had not been able to transform himself into a sufficient and effective leader in the eyes of his followers, would he have been able to succeed in his invasion of France and historical domination of Europe? Quite simply, I believe the answer to this question is no.

During Henry’s transformation process into an effective leader, Henry appeared to have learned from the mistakes of his past and not only sought to abolish any connections, but also chose to change his ways by learning from those followers around him. Through time, Henry learned to speak to and motivate his followers through his own teachable point of view filled with vision, values and energy.

King Henry V did not only become a great leader, but also a great teacher. In becoming a great leader, Henry was focused to act in ways that seemed immoral and even unforgivable, but he did this in order to strengthen his stance in the eyes of his followers. Having been associated with a great deal of commoners in his adolescent years, Henry was able to relate to his followers on all levels and also his soldiers. Yes, Henry was royalty, but he did not appear so quick as to constantly remind them of his royal upbringing unless it was needed to make a point.

One of the best examples of Henry’s ability to relate to his followers/soldiers came on the night before the Battle of Agincourt. (During the Battle of Agincourt, the English were outnumbered five men to every one man). The night before the battle, King Henry disguised himself as a common soldier and talked to several soldiers in his camp. Henry learned who they were and what they thought of the battle in which they were involved. Henry was able to get a feel for the emotions and the involvement of his soldiers before he headed into the biggest battle of his and their lives. Later on that night, Henry rethought the opinions of his soldiers and lamented his responsibilities as king. And much like an effective leader would do, Henry had drawn appropriate lessons from talks and experiences with his soldiers formed these lessons into knowledge. Henry had established a point of view. This particular point of view came about from Henry organizing his thoughts in a way that he could communicate them clearly to his soldiers. Henry was then set to deliver this point of view that would engage his soldiers/followers both emotionally and intellectually. Henry passionately delivered his new found point of view the next...

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