I just have to share this with everybody...
Henry was not the nice "Welshman to the core" of this play. After Agincourt, he ordered "the slaughter of all disarmed prisoners, noble or otherwise, and his foot soldiers watched, deeply shocked as two hundred archers stabbled, clubbed, or burned the captives to death."
Coupled with the fact that Henry didn't smile once during his victorious progress through London...I must conclude that the historical guy was an evil hardass.
The Duke of York was not stabbed to death, and did not dramatically barf blood like in the Kenneth Branagh film. "He was a big man and very overweight, and it is reported that he either suffocated to death in his armor or suffered a heart attack in the press of the fighting."
So the next time you read Shakespeare, especially this play or, my favorite ahistorical pro-Lancastrian history twister, Richard III....just remember.... Shakespeare is a damned liar. :-)
Thanks to Alison Weir for the information in "The Wars of the Roses".