Henry V

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Bishop of Ely

The Bishop of Ely is a character in William Shakespeare's play Henry V. He is a member of the clergy and a trusted advisor to the King of England. The Bishop of Ely is a wise and loyal servant who provides guidance and support to King Henry throughout the play.

In the play, the Bishop of Ely is first introduced in Act 1, Scene 1, where he is seen discussing with the Archbishop of Canterbury the legality of King Henry's claim to the throne of France. The Bishop of Ely argues that the Salic Law, which prevents women from inheriting the French crown, would make Henry's claim invalid. However, he eventually agrees with the Archbishop's reasoning and supports Henry's decision to invade France.

Throughout the play, the Bishop of Ely continues to advise and support King Henry. He is present in many important scenes, including the famous St. Crispin's Day speech, where he witnesses Henry's rousing speech to his troops before the Battle of Agincourt. The Bishop of Ely is portrayed as a wise and trusted counselor, offering his insight and guidance to the king.

Key Moments and Contributions

One of the key moments involving the Bishop of Ely is in Act 2, Scene 2, where he and the other advisors discuss the financial implications of the war with France. The Bishop of Ely suggests that the church should contribute to the war effort by offering a subsidy, which would help fund the king's army. This suggestion shows the Bishop's loyalty to the king and his commitment to the success of the mission.

Another significant contribution of the Bishop of Ely is his role in the negotiation of the Treaty of Troyes. In Act 5, Scene 2, he is present when the treaty is signed, which ensures Henry's marriage to Princess Katherine of France and secures his claim to the French throne. The Bishop's presence in this scene highlights his importance as a trusted advisor and his involvement in the political affairs of the kingdom.

In conclusion, the Bishop of Ely is a vital character in Shakespeare's play Henry V. He is a wise and loyal advisor to King Henry, providing guidance and support throughout the play. His key moments and contributions demonstrate his importance in the political and military affairs of the kingdom. The Bishop of Ely's presence adds depth and complexity to the play, showcasing the intricate web of relationships and alliances that surround the king.