Henry v monologue question – introduction to literature

The monologue you read and watched from Henry V begins with the Chorus wishing for things—“O for a muse of fire,” and so on. Explain what this Chorus—who of course speaks on behalf of the play’s author—is saying about the limitations of theatrical performance. Do Shakespeare’s ideas still hold true when we’re talking about filmed dramatic performances? And how does the filmed version of it seen here support or refute these ideas?

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Video of monologue: 

 

Script: 

 

Enter Chorus

Chorus

 

     O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
     The brightest heaven of invention,
     A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
     And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
     Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
     Assume the port° of Mars° and at his heels,                     visage, bearing / god of War
     Leash’d in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire
     Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all,
     The flat unraised spirits that have dared
     On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
     So great an object: can this cockpit° hold                   site of cock-fights
     The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
     Within this wooden O the very casques°                   helmets
     That did affright the air at Agincourt°?                     battlefield in France
     O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
     Attest in little place a million;
     And let us, ciphers° to this great accompt,°               nothings / accounting, tale
     On your imaginary forces work.
     Suppose within the girdle of these walls
     Are now confined two mighty monarchies,
     Whose high upreared and abutting fronts°               foreheads
     The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:
     Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;
     Into a thousand parts divide on man,
     And make imaginary puissance°;                              power
     Think when we talk of horses, that you see them
     Printing their proud hoofs i’ the receiving earth;
     For ’tis your thoughts that now must deck° our kings,      adorn
     Carry them here and there; jumping o’er times,
     Turning the accomplishment of many years
     Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,
     Admit me Chorus to this history;
     Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,
     Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.

 

 

 

 

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