This approach by Aquinas somewhat renders Henry’s ventures as wrongful given the bishop’s involvement at the outset. Moreover, there are moral implications to wars of this sort which may also render it unjustifiable, given the lives at stake and restlessness the soldiers are subjected to.
Henry’s cold-hearted order of having all of the French prisoners killed in retaliation to the French’s defiance of the Law of Arms, shows how a thoughtful leader (one who ventured around his camp in disguise to boost his soldier’s morale) could wreak murderous consequences when gripped by the rage of battle.
It is a wonder to see how the once spoilt brat Prince Henry turns the tides of fortune in his favor as King, winning the battle against arch rivals, the French and outshining them with valor and leadership, in as little as two scenes of the play. Perhaps inflicting major damage upon the French was partly down to Henry’s strategy. The art of deception is one of the major factors in victory (Lundell). Sun Tzu goes so far as to call the perfect deception as the ultimate form of winning, victory without fighting (Lundell). Deception leads to quicker victories, and thus may also spare important lives as a result, which makes leaving the enemy an escape route all the more necessary. The Art of War also lists one very important factor in maintaining a ready army, and that is anger. Soldiers can unite against one common enemy far easier if they despised him, and King Henry knows it too well. He demonstrates an urge to maintain high morale by dressing up as a commoner and touring his own camp, in order to discover what the soldiers actually think about him. Right before the battle of Agincourt, one of his most aspiring speeches instigate the ever necessary brotherhood build up “We few, We happy few, We band of brothers” (Gurr).
Coming out victorious, Henry V did show more valor and battle sense than many expected. He did put up an exemplary display of Sun Tzu’s Art of War strategies and thus rightfully earned the hand of Katherine at the end of play and the status of legend afterwards, much accredited to Shakespeare’s ever poetic depiction of him.
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