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Leadership and Courage: Henry V’s “St. Crispin’s Day Speech”

Date: Wednesday, Aug. 18 | 7:00–8:30 PM EDT

The speech that Shakespeare imagines Henry V gave to his nobles prior to the Battle of Agincourt, where British troops were badly outnumbered, is widely regarded as a masterpiece of rhetoric. But what does that mean? What kinds of arguments does Henry present, and what makes them effective? Is their effectiveness related to the truth? How does one motivate men to risk their lives under dire circumstances? In this seminar, we will explore these questions, among others, and draw lessons from this speech.

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