his name is henry ive decided

Sherlock and Henry V

Hey, it’s me back at it again with the Henry V meta (why couldn’t I let it go? now my heart hurts). I spent all fall semester analyzing the Henriad just to have Henry V alluded to in a Sherlock promo adding to the fact that a Sherlock mirror is called Henry Knight. So. It feels like fate. I thought I could just leave it all behind me…then midway through writing the conclusion to my essay, which I cleverly titled “the Death of Kings: the Human Leader in Shakespeare Histories,” I had a startling realization of just how similar Henry V (Hal) is to BBC’s Sherlock Holmes. Whether or not it has much of a direct influence, it has really nicely helped me view the similar themes used to talk about the characters. 

There are many really specific things about the play that we can compare like “the game is afoot,” but I really want to stick to going into a thematic analysis of Kingship in the play which, of course, revolves around Hal. In order to do that, though, I have to cover as briefly as possible the other three plays in the Henriad (Richard II, Henry IV part 1 and 2), because since they are sequels they are really necessary to fully understanding Hal’s journey culminating in Henry V, and thereby Sherlock’s in S4 so try to bear with me. The details of those plays are not what is important here, but rather the themes that Shakespeare brings up in these plays that were very pointed and very surface layer for the time period. They are major themes, because these are Shakespeare plays about Kings being criticized during a time when it was dangerous to challenge a monarch in any way. That being said, ultimately, it all boils down to the head vs heart conundrum and the humanization of a king.  

(Putting this under the cut .because it’s really long. I’m so sorry. It just…sort of…happened.) @inevitably-johnlocked here you go just as promised

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the Simnel boy - Henry + Elizabeth

Rumors appeared for the first time around Yuletide 1486, but Henry didn’t take them seriously. Another pretender, another boy claiming to be the real ruler, another lie supported by Yorkists. Nothing new under the sun and the Tudor King knew he would have to endure this all along his reign -unless he decides to detroy every opponent..

But some rumors were more dangerous than others, and the name Lambert Simnel reached Henry’s ears way too often to be ignored. Alone in his office, his lean fingers contracted around the missive his spies sent. “Ungrateful bastard…” –a whisper between his almost closed lips– “I should have executed you when I got the chance” he added when his eyes found the name of John De La Pole in the letter –the designed heir of Richard III that the new King decided to spare. A mistake, apparently. The rebels first stated the young boy was the missing Richard, son of Edward IV, and now Edward, Earl of Warwick. Only fool can support Yorkists! he thought, releasing the missive. Henry closed his eyes as his head leaned back on the chair, trying to calm down, even if the mask he wore was still impassive.

Long seconds, minutes maybe passed, and a soft knock at the door pulled him out of his troubled quietude. “Come in!”