LIT 380: Shakespeare in Film

Mise-en-scene: Taking a look at a certain Henry V’s Monologue speech in both Olivier’s and Branaugh’s films

This post only addresses the question #2 in the Blog Questions to be considered for the posted in the course blog. Only one monologue scene is going to be discussed in this post and it happens to be the St. Crispin’s Day speech that is a part of both the films where. In this scene, the mise-en-scene witnesses a similarity in both the films where the people in the camp of King Henry V are scattered within the camp when Henry begins his monologue speech. As his monologue continues, people start crowding the frame reacting to what is happening in the context. Furthermore, as the monologue is taking place, both Olivier and Branaugh who play the role of Henry V in their respective films are walking for the most part. The build up of the crowd around Henry is achieved by keeping Henry as the nucleus of the crowd and the people nearby following him as he walks and the people farther trying to catch up to speed with what is unfolding. The other interesting thing to note when it comes to the mise-en-scene is that the frame in the beginning of the monologue has major elements from the environment that can be seen whereas toward the end of the monologue, the entire frame is filled with people with only minor elements from the environment can be seen such as camp-tents in Olivier’s film and Trees in Branaugh’s. Lastly, another mise-en-scene that tells that King Henry V has successfully motivated his fellow men is the later end of the monologue scene where the soldiers in the camp have crowded the frame, the area around Henry, listening to him with attention and cheering unanimously as he closes his speech.


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