Message About War in Shakespeare’s Plays

Shakespeare’s works portray love in his literary pieces, notable ones being, Much Ado About Nothing, Merchant of Venice, Troilus and Cressida, Henry IV, Henry V, and King John. War is necessary within a society with the key goal of affirming victory and strength in any given society, as is the case within the play, In Much Ado About Nothing, where Don Pedro and his friends are depicted as returning from the war which they have been triumphant. In the article by Shakespeare, he differentiates actual battles from his portrayal of theme on stage as is the case in Troilus and Cressida where the envious desire of a lover primarily drives one’s participation in the war; the case of Achilles, warriors, withdrawing from the battle to make it out with his lover Patroclus.

Shakespeare reveals the theme of war through ties between church, state, and the general public. As a result, Shakespeare is concerned with the legal, ethical and religious justification of war. He reveals war against a foreign enemy as a strategy used by the government to downplay internal problems and unite the country around a leader who is fraudulently in office. Essentially, in Henry IV’s play, Henry IV’s advice to Hal to busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels to exaggerate a nation’s honor and save their face with a legitimate motive. Thus, Henry V is a depiction of the brutality of war with the assertion of the young English men selling their land to buy a horse that they would use in a war, unlike the Merchant of Venice where war is only evident as a latent dispute between Bassanio and Antonio for the debt that the latter borrowed from the former. As is the case with Henry V, King John premises on war, with the most notable evidence of war being the beheading of Austria by Bastard. Such notions demonstrate the value of war as an evitable element in societies.

Removal Request
This essay on Message About War in Shakespeare’s Plays was written by a student just like you. You can use it for research or as a reference for your own work. Keep in mind, though, that a proper citation is necessary.
Request for Removal

You can submit a removal request if you own the copyright to this content and don't want it to be available on our website anymore.

Send a Removal Request