"This star of England..."
"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more! Henry V
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge,
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'"
—King Henry V , Henry V III.i
(or to give its full original title, The Chronicle Historie of
Henry the fift: with his battel fought at
Agin Court in
France. Togither with Auncient
Pistoll.) is a play by William Shakespeare
, in which Henry V (the former Prince Hal from Henry IV
, Parts 1 and 2) goes and beats the French. Then marries one of them.
speech to be quoted
by someone when England has a major sporting match. Well, one of two:
- There's "Once More Unto the Breach" (III.i), as quoted at the top of the page, in which Henry encourages his troops to make one more great effort to overwhelm the defences of Harfleur.
- Then there's "Saint Crispin's Day" (IV.iii), Henry's big speech before the climactic Battle of Agincourt, at which he draws a Line in the Sand and calls his soldiers a Band of Brothers.
Expect varying interpretations when this play is performed — it's debated whether it's pro- or anti-war...or a character study
has been adapted twice in film: the first in 1944 by Laurence Olivier
, the second in 1989 by Kenneth Branagh
(featuring BRIAN BLESSED
). There is also the 2012 BBC version with Tom Hiddleston
as Henry as part of The Hollow Crown
The plot structure is the template for just about every war movie ever made.
This play and the filmed productions contain examples of: