King Henry employs pathos in a motivational speech to his troops in France prior to the siege of Harfleur:
On, on, you noblest English,
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof,
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought,
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument.
Dishonor not your mothers. Now attest
That those whom you called fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood
And teach them how to war. And you, good
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture.
Here, the King shows his skillful mastery of pathos, manipulating the emotions of his soldiers in a number of ways. First, he praises them as the “noblest English,” stirring feelings of patriotism and suggesting that any soldier, regardless of their class or rank, can achieve nobility on the battlefield. Next, he reminds them of the many victorious battles fought by their fathers in earlier wars, calling on his soldiers to “attest” to their paternity by matching their fathers’ successes. So too does he invoke their mothers, urging his troops not to “dishonor” their families through weakness or cowardice. In the concluding lines of his speech, he returns to the theme of patriotism, reminding his troops “[w]hose limbs were made in England” to fight proudly for their nation.