Henry V is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It is based on the life of King Henry V of England, and focuses on events immediately before and after the Battle of Agincourt (1415) during the Hundred Years' War. The play is the final part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard II, Henry IV, part 1 and Henry IV, part 2. The plot follows the young prince (a reckless and undisciplined character in Henry IV) as he matures into a man and embarks on an attempted conquest of France.
Conspiracies and intrigue are rife in the court of Henry VIII as a Duke is executed for treason, having been tricked by the Cardinal. And when the King falls in love with Anne Bullen and decides to divorce his wife, he causes an irrevocable rift with the Catholic Church.
By banishing his cousin, Bolingbroke, King Richard II prevents a dispute from turning bloody. But Richard is an arrogant and despotic ruler, prone to tyranny and vanity, who listens only to his flatterers. As he falls from favourand Bolingbroke returns to reclaim his land, Richard is humbled and grieved to see that the throne given to him by God might be taken from him by men.
The bitter, deformed brother of the King is secretly plotting to seize the throne of England. Charming and duplicitous, powerfully eloquent and viciously cruel, he is prepared to go to any lengths to achieve his goal and, in his skilful manipulation of events and people, Richard is a chilling incarnation of the lure of evil and the temptation of power.