Henry V


William Shakespeare

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Accents Symbol Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
Accents Symbol Icon
Accents abound among the play’s characters and symbolize Henry V’s diverse vision of England. Though Captain Fluellen, Captain Jamy, and Captain MacMorris all speak English, each man’s English carries the distinctive mark of his homeland. Their Welsh, Scotch, and Irish accents gesture towards their respective English sub-cultures, signaling the rich diversity of England’s population. The fact that each man is a high-ranking captain in Henry V’s army signals, too, that England is tolerant of cultural differences and welcomes people of disparate backgrounds into its most trusted offices. This ideal of tolerance is reiterated in Act 5 when the English Captain Gower admonishes Pistol for making fun of Fluellen’s Welsh traditions and accent. Katherine’s French accent can likewise be seen to signify English diversity and tolerance. As Henry V’s success at Agincourt unites France and England, the French become another sub-culture welcomed into the English melting pot.

Accents Quotes in Henry V

The Henry V quotes below all refer to the symbol of Accents. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Kingship Theme Icon
Act 4, Scene 1 Quotes

I think the king is but a man, as I am.

Related Characters: Henry V (speaker), Michael Williams, John Bates, Alexander Court
Related Symbols: Accents
Page Number: 4.1.105-106
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 4, Scene 7 Quotes

All the water in Wye cannot wash your majesty’s Welsh plod out of your pody, I can tell you that: God pless it and preserve it as long as it pleases his Grace and his Majesty too.

Related Characters: Captain Fluellen (speaker), Henry V
Related Symbols: Accents
Page Number: 4.7.112-114
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 1 Quotes

Will you mock at an ancient tradition, begun upon an honourable respect, and worn as a memorable trophy of predeceased valour and dare not avouch in your deeds any of your words? I have seen you gleeking and galling at this gentlemen twice or thrice. You thought, because he could not speak English in the native garb, he could not therefore handle an English cudgel: you find it otherwise; and henceforth let a Welsh correction teach you a good English condition.

Related Characters: Captain Gower (speaker), Ancient Pistol
Related Symbols: Accents
Page Number: 5.1.74-83
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 2 Quotes

Your majestee ave fausse French enough to deceive de most sage demoiselle dat is en France.

Related Characters: Katherine (speaker), Henry V
Related Symbols: Accents
Page Number: 5.2.227-228
Explanation and Analysis:
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Accents Symbol Timeline in Henry V

The timeline below shows where the symbol Accents appears in Henry V. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 3, Scene 2
Warfare Theme Icon
England Theme Icon
Language Theme Icon
...Fluellen that the Duke of Gloucester requests him at the mines. Fluellen (with a Welsh accent) protests that the mines are “not according to the disciplines of war.” Gower insists, saying... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
Language Theme Icon
...words’ ‘foot’ and ‘gown’ have wicked, lewd sounds, but dutifully pronounces them (with a French accent). Alice praises her. They leave for dinner. (full context)
Act 4, Scene 7
Kingship Theme Icon
Language Theme Icon
...Fluellen says ‘Big’ instead of ‘Great,’ which comes out sounding like ‘Pig’ because of Fluellen’s accent. Like Alexander the Great, Fluellen says, Henry is gallant, was born in a town with... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
Appearances Theme Icon
Language Theme Icon
...to indulge him and calls the language of men deceitful, repeatedly evading Henry’s proposals (in accented English) and reminding him that the choice is her father’s, not her own. When Henry... (full context)