Henry V And Flashbacks
In Henry V there are three flashbacks, which help the audience understand Henry and the plot better. The three flashbacks are the scene with Henry and Falstaff, Henry and Bardolph, and the scene at the castle in England where there is a constant flow of images in which Henry is recollecting the past events in the movie.
These three flashbacks display a great deal of information that the play did not give to its readers. The first scene was with Henry and Falstaff drinking and having a good time. It was used to show that Henry got along with the common people and in addition it also how Henry cared about how his subjects thought about him. Falstaff died of a broken heart. He died because during Henry’s coronation, Henry disregarded Falstaff as if he never existed. Henry could not be friends with Falstaff when he was crowned king due to the fact that Falstaff was not a noble person to have around because criminals constantly surrounded him. As a result Henry chose his thrown over his family.
The second flashback showed the just side of Henry. Bardolph was also friends with Henry while Henry was a prince. They drank alcohol and partied till dawn, always having a good time. However, when they reached France to battle, Bardolph began to steal from the French and as a result he had to be hanged because of that. The flashback was set up in one of the parties that Henry had with Bardolph, Nym, Pistol, and Falstaff. Bardolph told Henry that when he becomes a king never to hang a thief. Henry’s response was that he will never hang a thief but Bardolph will. What Henry actually meant was that the actions of the thief such as Bardolph would get himself killed. This showed how Henry was just because he did not care about the status of any of his soldiers, if they broke any laws than they would get punished with the full severity of the law.
The third flashback was not concentrated on a specific event, but rather on a stream of images that was in the movie. It was set up in the castle when the King of France was signing the treaty with England. It showed what Henry and his men had to go through to attain France and now they were relieved that their hard work had paid off. Now Henry can rule both France the same way he is ruling England. This scene shows how Henry is pleased that the killings have stopped and now he is looking forward to ruling both lands.
These flashbacks are definitely needed for today’s audience because they contain a great deal of information that could help the viewer understand the play. For instance I did not know how close Henry was to Falstaff and Bardolph. The flashbacks helped me to see how close of friends they were and how just Henry was during his reign. Without the flashbacks I would have never known how close these three men were and how Henry was just by treating all his servants equally.
I my self would use more of flashbacks to give more information to the viewers. A flashback that I would use would be of Edward the Black and his destruction of France. I would use the flashback in Act II Scene IV where the king of France is talking to the Dauphin and the Constable of France about the destruction brought about by Edward. This flashback would show the reason as to why so many feared Edward the Black in France