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