The King’, one of Netflix’s very much-anticipated November launches, follows the life and times of King Henry V. But does this historical series starring Timothee Chalamet and Robert Pattinson do justification to history? The reply to that is a little iffy.
The movie is loosely adapted from the Shakespearean dramas ‘Henry IV, Part 1’, ‘Henry IV, Part 2’, and ‘Henry V’. The issue, however, is that the huge bard himself took some amazing liberties while writing them and why would not he? After all, his dramas were meant to entertain, not teach.
So before we discern the film on the tiny screens of our laptops, phones, tabs or TVs, let us take a brief history lesson. Henry V came into the world on September 16, 1386.
Also renowned as Henry of Monmouth, he was the king of England from 1413 till his death in 1422. The following English monarch of the House of Lancaster, Henry V was the lad of Henry of Bolingbroke (Henry IV). At the moment of his birth, Richard II was the king.
Henry V saw himself as an able ruler and had various military successes, the most recognized of which was the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. All this affirms true in the movie, but the resemblance with factual data sort of end there.
For instance, in the movie, the young prince Hal (before he went on to become Henry V) is befriended by Sir John Falstaff (Joel Edgerton). In Shakespeare’s dramas, Falstaff and Hal share an intimate friendship. In ‘Henry IV Part II’, however, Hal does not accept Falstaff in his coronation and bans him from discerning him. Worse still, in actual life, there never existed a Sir John Falstaff.
Shakespeare, as per Refinery29, relied the character on Henry’s retired friend, Sir John Oldcastle. In actual life, Oldcastle was not prohibited; he was sentenced to die for heresy by Henry V and was alighted at the stake.