When we left Act Four of The Third Part of Henry the Sixth yesterday, Warwick had turned against Edward in an attempt to reseat Henry. Edward’s brother George had also turned against the new king; and they and their army were successful in capturing Edward, though Richard and Hastings escaped capture. Warwick left Edward in the Archbishop of York’s care, while he and George left to London to free Henry. Richard and Hastings were able to free Edward, who–when we left off–was hoping to take back the throne before Margaret could return from France with an army.
Continue reading “Act Four, Scenes Seven through Ten”
At the end of Act Three of The Third Part of Henry the Sixth, Warwick vows revenge for the wrongs he perceives King Edward has done to him (primarily through the marriage of Lady Grey, and not Lady Bonne, as Warwick had travelled to France to negotiate). In Act Four, we see the fallout.
Continue reading “Act Four, Scenes One through Six: Big Wheel Keeps on Turnin’ (or: Meet Edward IV, the Repo Man)”
Act Three, Scene Three of The Third Part of Henry the Sixth moves the action to the French court, where King Louis is giving audience to Margaret, who is pleading for military support to oust Edward and (presumably) to reseat Henry. In the midst of her petition for “just and lawful aid” (III.iii.32), Warwick arrives to ask Louis for the hand of his sister-in-law Lady Bonne in marriage for Edward.
Margaret attempts to argue against this match, stating that “this league and marriage” would be a “danger and dishonor” to Louis, since Henry’s throne has been usurped by Edward (III.iii.74 and 75, respectively). Her claim is backed by the Earl of Oxford, who–though he is a brother-in-law to Warwick–is a Lancastrian supporter.
Continue reading “Act Three, Scene Three: The Corleone All-Business Edition”
The first half of Act Three of The Third Part of Henry the Sixth begins with two gamekeepers readying for a hunt. Henry happens into their midst and speaks his mind regarding his new position. Some of it is exposition (“From Scotland am I stolen” [III.i.13], “My queen and son are gone to France for aid” [III.i.28]), some more philosophical (“Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, // For wise men say it is the wisest course” [III.i.24-25]). The gamekeepers recognize him for who he is, and after listening to him ramble, finally step forward and attempt to take him into custody.
Continue reading “Act Three, Scenes One and Two: The Philosopher Non-King and the Bros of the Realm”
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This week’s podcast includes a introduction to our discussion of The Third Part of Henry the Sixth, including a plot overview of the first half of the play
16:30 — Text should be
"Her husband was killed fighting with the Lancastrian forces in the second Battle of Saint Albans. What should be a simple matter of civil governance, we see ..."
"As her husband was killed fighting against the Lancastrian forces in the second Battle of Saint Albans, this should be a mere technicality. But what should be a simple matter of civil governance, we see ..."
Continue reading “Podcast 22: The Third Part of Henry the Sixth Introduction”
Act Two of The Third Part of Henry the Sixth begins with the state of kings reversed from the beginning of the play as a whole. Where Henry had been forced to relinquish the future of the throne of England–allowing for the Yorkist line to ascend in exchange for his retaining the crown for his own lifetime–now, York is dead, killed by both Queen Margaret and Lord Clifford.
With this reversal, it’s no surprise that the opening line of Act Two, Scene One is an ironic parallel to the play’s opening. Young Edward Plantagenet asks his brother Richard “I wonder how our princely father scaped // Or whether he be scaped away or no” (II.i.1-2); this recalls Warwick the Kingmaker’s opening line of the play (“I wonder how the king escaped our hands” [I.i.1]).
Continue reading “Act Two: The Wheel of Fortune Turns”
When we left off yesterday at the end of Act One, Scene One of The Third Part of Henry the Sixth, King Henry had just disinherited his own son Edward, in an attempt to keep the throne himself. Richard, Duke of York, and his sons are now in line to become King of England. Queen Margaret, needless to say, is none too pleased about this, and has stated her intention to gather like-minded nobles to fight the Yorkist line, while Henry naively hopes to reconcile both sides of the conflict.
Continue reading “Act One, the Remainder: Bring on the Blood”
The Third Part of Henry the Sixth has one of those “with a BANG” beginnings, full of pomp. There’s the throne on stage, and to an alarum (a trumpet call to arms) enter the Yorkists (Duke of York, his sons Edward and Richard [for history buffs, the next two Kings of England], other supportive nobles) and their soldiers.
Continue reading “Act One, Scene One: The Wheel of Fortune Turns (or Timing Is Everything)”
A new month, a new play.
Well, sorta on that “new play” point. After all this is The Third Part of Henry the Sixth. Part Three continues hot on the heels of the events of The Second Part (the first Battle of Saint Albans having just been won by the Yorkists).
Continue reading “Let us begin….”
As we transition our discussion from The First Part of Henry the Sixth to The Second, it’s probably a pretty good time to revisit the Roadmap. Remember back then, we said
Yeah, I’ve played around a little the with sequencing… but only to keep the tetralogies both in order and consecutive (for example, moving The Merry Wives of Windsor to after Henry V so the four histories are together)
Well, it applies to both last month and this. There is some debate in the literary and academic community as to the sequence of the first tetralogy’s order of composition.
Continue reading “Following the Order”