How, and Why, You Should Celebrate St. Crispin’s Day Today

Get pumped up to invade France!

What is St. Crispin’s Day, you ask? Technically speaking, the Feast Day of St. Crispin, October 25, venerates the martyrdom of Christian saints Crispinus and Crispianus, who were twins (rude, Mom). But let’s be real, no one cares about that. Instead, today we honor the most prolific playwright of all time, William Shakespeare, and the greatest speech from one of his greatest plays, Henry V. If you haven’t read Henry V, well, you’ve been done wrong. For some reason public schools rarely teach the histories, but the Henriad and the War of the Roses cycle should be required reading. Fuck Romeo and Juliet. You heard me. [Ed. note: This is an official editorial position.]

Greatly outnumbered by the French on St. Crispin’s Eve, King Henry V rallies his demoralized army with a rousing soliloquy promising brotherhood, greatness and legacy:

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.

SNIFFFFFFF. Anyway, his soldiers, aroused with visions of glory, win a staggering victory at the Battle of Agincourt on St. Crispin’s Day. In summary, this kick-ass soliloquy will make you feel like you can do ANYTHING! Conquer that biochemistry exam! Vanquish that evil pigeon that pooped on your head! Win over your prospective mother-in-law who hates your guts because you’re a freelance writer with no steady income! Okay, maybe not that last bit.

Watch these three classic interpretations and cry God for Harry, England, and St. George:

Now that you feel the burning fire of patriotism in your veins, we suggest invading France. Or at the very least, plant a miniature American flag in front of the Eiffel Tower.

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