Story Quote # 11

This story shall the good man teach his son . . .

But we in it shall be remember’d;

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

For he to-day that sheds his blood with me

Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,

This day shall gentle his condition:

And gentlemen in England now a-bed

Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,

And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks

That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Henry V, Act IV, Scene 3

William Shakespeare knew that if you want to motivate, you inspire with a story, a new one suggesting the way things will be . . .

King Henry stands before his ragtag army. They are vastly outnumbered. Every man knows and fears that, but they also have long bows. Their bows can give them advantage over the horse mounted French, if they stand. Henry must make them stand and fight. How does he do that? By telling them a new story–the one that will be told of their victory. The story that will be repeated every St. Crispin’s Day from this time forward.

Do stories matter? Ask Shakespeare.

PS: Check comments for video of an even better performance of St. Crispin’s speech!



Filed under History, Legend, National Story, New Story, stories, Uncategorized, Why Stories?

3 responses to “Story Quote # 11

  1. That was fun Jerrie, thanks for a little Shakespearean Christmas (whoops, Crispin) drama.

  2. Gail Storey

    Jerrie, what an inspiring scene from Henry V to jumpstart my day! I read a lot of your other posts too, and appreciate your many perspectives on the value of stories. Thanks!

  3. I don’t know if this is too off topic.

    I used to think that Kenneth Branagh was a fine Shakespearean actor until someone showed me this same speech done by Laurence Olivier. Then I realize that Brangh rolls thought the lines like a school kid reciting a memorized speech, while Olivier gives each line it’s meaning. Oliver also doesn’t yell as much as Branagh.

    I think the telling of the story is just as important as the story itself. The facts of the story don’t matter as much as how they’re presented and I think Oliver does a much better job. You see what I did there, I got this comment back on topic:)

    Anyhoo, here’s Olivier’s speech, if you can look passed the dated film making it really is a better performance:

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