Catherine

Catherine is the daughter of the king of France, who eventually marries King Harry in King Henry V. In scene 5.2, Catherine’s true colors come through as she accepts Harry’s proposal of marriage (in a very roundabout way). She has already been introduced earlier, but only appeared in one scene. This time, she has center stage. She really does not talk much, in comparison with Harry, but certainly says enough for audiences to understand her. She acts coy, and because she cannot speak good English, must have an interpreter. This serves to compliment Harry because it shows how he really can speak fluent French. This scene also shows Harry’s human, personal side. By being the object of his love, Catherine’s role in this scene is to allow this side of Harry to shine through and to draw his personality out. In the play, her dramatic function is to provide some comedy (through her bad attempts to speak English), to allow the side of Harry the man versus Harry the king and soldier to come out, and to introduce romance to the play. Thematically, her role is to bring up the issue of whether Harry will be a good ruler for France or not, to also reinforce the theme of Harry the man (not just a “king”), and to show Harry’s superiority of sorts, as seen by his humbleness and mastery of the French language.

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