Act Three, Scene Three: The Corleone All-Business Edition

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.
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Act Three, Scenes One and Two: The Philosopher Non-King and the Bros of the Realm

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.
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Podcast 22: The Third Part of Henry the Sixth Introduction

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

Errata:
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 ..."

instead of

"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 ..."

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Act Two: The Wheel of Fortune Turns

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]).
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Act One, the Remainder: Bring on the Blood

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.
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Act One, Scene One: The Wheel of Fortune Turns (or Timing Is Everything)

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.
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Let us begin….

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).
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2HenryVI by the Numbers: overall

The Second Part of Henry the Sixth

  • 3161 total lines; longer than average play, longer than average history (average play: 2777; average history: 3009)
  • At 15 and 6 lines, respectively, Act Four Scene Six and Act Five Scene Two are the shortest of their kind in the Canon
  • At 383, 223, and 83 lines, respectively, Act Three Scene One, Act Four Scene Seven, and Act Four Scene Nine are the longest of their kind in the Canon
  • Act One: 666 lines; longer than average, longer than average history (average play: 590, average history: 612)
  • Act Two: 518 lines; shorter than average, shorter than average history (average play: 568, average history: 621)
  • Act Three: 834 lines; longer than average, longer than average history (average play: 576, average history: 632)
  • Act Four: 801 lines; longer than average, longer than average history (average play: 563, average history: 651)
  • Act Five: 342 lines; shorter than average, shorter than average comedy (average play: 480, average history: 493)
  • 526 lines of prose (16.64% of total lines [as opposed to The Comedy of Errors: 13.31%, Titus Andronicus: 1.39%, The Taming of the Shrew: 20.82%, and 1HenryVI: 0.37%]): reflecting less aristocratic roles
  • 100 rhyming lines (3.16% of total lines [as opposed to The Comedy of Errors: 20.10%, Titus Andronicus: 2.42%, The Taming of the Shrew: 3.93%, and 1HenryVI: 9.79%])
  • 25 scenes; more than average (average play: 21; average history: 24)
  • 67 characters (more than any other play): more than average, more than average history (average play: 36, average history: 48)

Podcast 21: The Second Part of Henry the Sixth Wrap-Up

This week’s podcast includes a conclusion to our discussion of The Second Part of Henry the Sixth, including some castings, an overview and a critique, as well as a stage review of the California Lutheran University’s production of Pericles; plus, our usual recap of this week’s blog entries.
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