AGINCOURT—“THIS STORY SHALL THE GOOD MAN TEACH HIS SON….” Bernard Cornwell asks in his article: “Agincourt was famous long before Shakespeare made it immortal, yet even so there were those other great triumphs like Poitiers and Crecy, so why Agincourt? His answer is: “It must have started with the tales that the survivors told.”
That is, the prediction in Henry V’s speech on St. Crispin’s day was in fact what had happened.
“This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-”
Cornwell’s article links to a video of Kenneth Branagh giving the speech. Here is the speech. Note that Branagh, in his wonderful performance, lets the iambic pentameter operate in the background while he speaks the sentences as written.