Henry V - 4.4
As for Act IV Scene IV I think it is significant to be kept in your production. The play would be incomplete without this scene because this scene simply exemplifies the entire play. Shakespeare’s idea about this scene is to reveal the truth of Henry’s journey to conquer France.
As the French Soldier appears in front of Pistol they obviously represent France and England. Pistol has threatened the French Solder with harsh words. When he says, “Bid Him prepare, for I will cut his throat.” He has manipulated him to be scared and beg for mercy. This scene resembles Act III Scene III when Henry manipulates the Governor the open the gates and to surrender. Pistol is similar to King Henry in this scene because he has taken advantage of the use of words he has chosen to control the French Soldier’s ability to fight back.
The speech made by Boy is vital. He is describing the truth of the play. As King Henry can be this heartless he who only wants more power and land and for an extreme expense as well. As he says, “The empty vessel makes the greatest sound”describes how selfish he is. The Boy represents the people of England as for he and his people are at risk because Henry seeks his triumph. Him and the young boys stay back to protect what could be left of England.
Shakespeare included this scene because it examines the theme of the playon a lower level. Power, domination, influence and persuasion are constant throughout the play. He uses Pistol to be more relatable. Threatening to cut someone’s neck is an easier way to establish power on common ground. As for Henry he uses war is a way to establish power over a country.
I would not recommend cutting this scene because remains constant regarding the feeling of empowerment. It illustrates the theme of the play without it being so evident.