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Pickle Barrel - Yonge and Eglinton

Waaaaaayyy at the back - Private Room · Toronto, ON

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We're in the private room all the way at the back, to the right.

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Henry V can be — and has been — read both as a paean to military valour and patriotism, and as an ironic interrogation of those things. Irony can’t be disentangled from sincerity in this play; principle can’t be separated from self-interest. And Henry’s triumphs end up vanishing as soon as they’re achieved.

Like Julius Caesar, which was written around the same time, it is filled with many varieties of the rhetoric of persuasion. Is there anything more to Henry than his words?

What’s with the Chorus? What motivates Henry to invade France? What’s he like, really? How does he see himself? What’s the nature of his wooing of Catherine? What’s the role of all the common folk? How does the play relate to events in Shakespeare’s time?