This is based around our work on Henry V by Shakespeare, and the scene is set in France, not long before the English go to battle with the French at Agincourt. The English are hopelessly outnumbered, and this is an argument between two soldiers, Edward (me), a longbowman, and Bernard (Sam), a knight of higher stature who is trying to rally the troops.
BERNARD: Dear brethren, brothers in arms, we have come together to fight in the name of our valiant king, King Henry. He has led us through battles before –
EDWARD: With gross incompetence!
B (ignoring E): And through skill only a fool would fail to recognise, he has led us to victory and conquest. He has inspired us to fight even the most hardened opponent, and his inspiration has led us on to glory. And today, being Saint Crispin’s Day, we should not only fight for Harry, but fight for God, for He has blessed His power upon Harry and the Kingdom of England.
E: Harry defies God!
B (annoyed by E): But no, instead of defying God, God is with us in all we do whilst serving Harry our King, and we shall come off triumphant no matter how brave or strong our enemy is.
E: Even you have been misguided! Our opponent outnumbers us so severely, and our leadership is not experienced or skilful enough – we shall not see today’s close. We have no hope of victory! Are you blind?
B: Nay, but you are. I beseech thee to see; it is not just our King who leads us, but God’s glory, and through Him we shall prevail.
E: But how can this be so, when Harry defies God?
B: My brother, have you already forgotten our glorious victory over the French at Harfleur?
E: Do you forget his wild and rash youth, that he sends us to war over a mere minor insult, and that, even though the battle be lost, he goes for one last charge?
B: But do you remember that after his soul-stirring speech and inspired last charge, we came off, not as the defeated, but as the victor?
E (sarcastically): ‘Once more unto the breach, dear friends’ (seriously) … only inspirational to a blinded fool. Henry has been blessed with luck thus far, and to expect any more is folly. Agincourt shall be where we will perish if he continues in his madness. Doom and destruction await us, and of that I am certain.
B: How can you say this? I should report you for such statements against our valiant and noble king! (E scoffs) I admit, he was once a wild and misguided youth, but many of us were, and, upon reaching the responsibilities of manhood, have rejected their former ways of transgression and shown unexpected maturity and wisdom. Such is the case with our noble King.
E: You believe the words that you speak? How can you trust that he really has matured, and is not just the recipient of luck? You cannot, and that, my friend, is the fact of the matter.
B: You are treading a fine line, and if you continue in your actions, I will be forced to report you for your falsity and slander, if not by my desire than by my sworn duty. Plead forgiveness now, and take back your harsh lies you have spoken against your King.
E: Praytell, why should I plead forgiveness for speaking the truth?
B: Not one soul need ask forgiveness for speaking truth, for that is an honourable deed, but you have not spoken the truth. It appears your knowledge of fact ceases at the very second our King was crowned, for you only remember his wild days and are oblivious to his current days of maturity.
E: I am wide awake to his days of luck.
B: It is more than luck. It is maturity. Indeed, even more than that, for Harry has been blessed by God, and with this blessing, we shall fight at Agincourt and take the victory, for we have a God-ordained leadership and we will not fail.
E (stunned): You are sure of this? The words that come from your mouth, you sincerely believe them?