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.
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!