The Core Skill of Execution, quite literally
Watch the dramatic scene unfold as King Henry hesitates to ponder--or does he?--whether to hang his friend Bardolph, which is given dramatic treatment in Kenneth Branagh's 1989 film.
From 2011-2014, Daniel Honan was the Managing Editor at Big Think. Prior to Big Think, Daniel was Vice President of Production for Plum TV, a niche cable network he helped launch in 2002. The production team he oversaw won over two dozen Emmy awards. Daniel has created numerous shows and documentaries for television, and his film credits include Stealing the Fire, a documentary on the black market for nuclear weapons technology.
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"We would have all such offenders so cut off" proclaims King Henry, as he orders his childhood friend and drinking buddy Bardolph to be executed--an order consistent with his own orders for punishing discretions in his army.
The justice of this action has been the subject of debate among scholars and sited as a leadership lesson by Nancy Koehn here on Big Think. As King Henry explains his admonition against stealing from his French adversaries:
"When lenity and cruelty play for a kingdom, the gentler gamester is the soonest winner."
Without the hint of hesitation--although it is cleverly expressed through a cinematic flashback in the Branagh film--Henry's judgment is quite swift in Shakespeare's text:
KING HENRY V
What men have you lost, Fluellen?
The perdition of th' athversary hath been very great, reasonable great: marry, for my part, I think the duke hath lost never a man, but one that is like to be executed for robbing a church, one Bardolph, if your majesty know the man: his face is all bubukles, and whelks, and knobs, and flames o'fire: and his lips blows at his nose, and it is like a coal of fire, sometimes plue and sometimes red; but his nose is executed and his fire's out.
KING HENRY V
We would have all such offenders so cut off: and we give express charge, that in our marches through the country, there be nothing compelled from the villages, nothing taken but paid for, none of the French upbraided or abused in disdainful language; for when lenity and cruelty play for a kingdom, the gentler gamester is the soonest winner.
Are university safe spaces killing intellectual growth?
Our experience of time may be blinding us to its true nature, say scientists.
- Time may not be passing at all, says the Block Universe Theory.
- Time travel may be possible.
- Your perception of time is likely relative to you and limited.
From questionable shipwrecks to outright attacks, they clearly don't want to be bothered.
- Many have tried to contact the Sentinelese, to write about them, or otherwise.
- But the inhabitants of the 23 square mile island in the Bay of Bengal don't want anything to do with the outside world.
- Their numbers are unknown, but either 40 or 500 remain.
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