Historical Inaccuracies

Not too bad, when you consider the wackiness of the Henry the Sixth plays…

scene depiction reality
III.iii Harfleur surrenders immediately upon Henry’s request/threat Harfleur actually asked for and was given a five-day period to make their decision (and to wait for the Dauphin’s assistance); Shakespeare skips over these five days
IV.i “Good morrow, brother Bedford” Henry’s middle brother was not at Agincourt (but in England, as acting ruler)
IV.iv The Boy is a boy and too young to fight. IF the boy is Falstaff’s page, he would have been around ten years old around the time of the events of the opening of The Second Part of Henry the Fourth; that would put him in his early twenties now… more than old enough to fight (but that would take the tragedy out of his death)
IV.viii The Battle of Agincourt is the deciding factor in the French war. Not so much. They were still weakened. They reached Calais on October 29, and stayed there until November 17, when–rested–they returned to England. They returned home heroes, but not rulers of France. As noted yesterday, there was a second French campaign in 1417, and nearing the end of that much longer campaign…
V.Chorus “the lamentation of the French // Invites the King of England’s stay at home” No, he didn’t stay at home (see above), but was warring in France until after months of negotiation, the Treaty of Troyes was signed in May of 1420, effectively naming Henry as the King of France, or at least the future King of France, as Charles VI was allowed to live out his reign.

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