List iconHenry VI, Part 1List icon

Henry VI, Part 1
Act 1, scene 3

Synopsis:

Contents

Characters in the Play

Entire Play

With an underage boy now king of England, Henry VI, Part 1, depicts the collapse of England’s role in France, as…

Act 1, scene 1

The funeral procession for Henry V is interrupted first by a quarrel between Gloucester and Winchester and then by messengers…

Act 1, scene 2

Charles the Dauphin, leader of the French, is defeated by a small English force that is besieging Orleance. He is…

Act 1, scene 3

Gloucester visits the Tower of London, only to be denied entry by Winchester. The servants of the two nobles skirmish…

Act 1, scene 4

The master gunner of Orleance shows his boy how to fire on the English when they come to spy. The…

Act 1, scene 5

Talbot attacks, fights Pucelle, fails to defeat her, and accuses her of witchcraft. The English, defeated, retreat.

Act 1, scene 6

The French celebrate Pucelle’s victory.

Act 2, scene 1

The English forces, led by Bedford, Burgundy, and Talbot, scale the walls of Orleance and drive out the French, who…

Act 2, scene 2

The English plan a grand tomb for the dead Salisbury, in part as a monument to their recent victory. Talbot…

Act 2, scene 3

The Countess plots to capture and kill the visiting Talbot.

Act 2, scene 4

Richard Plantagenet and Somerset, having quarreled over a case at law, withdraw into a garden, where the supporters of Plantagenet…

Act 2, scene 5

Edmund Mortimer, imprisoned by Henry IV because of his strong claim to the throne, and kept in prison by Henry…

Act 3, scene 1

Gloucester and Winchester quarrel openly in Henry VI’s royal court. Their supporters, forbidden to carry weapons, have been fighting in…

Act 3, scene 2

Pucelle and four soldiers, disguised as peasants, enter Roan. From a tower within the city, Pucelle signals to the French…

Act 3, scene 3

As Talbot and Burgundy march separately to Paris for the coronation of Henry VI, Pucelle entices Burgundy to join the…

Act 3, scene 4

In Paris, a grateful Henry VI creates Talbot Earl of Shrewsbury in recompense for his victories in France. Vernon, a…

Act 4, scene 1

Henry VI is crowned. Fastolf arrives with a letter from Burgundy and, because of his earlier cowardice in battle, is…

Act 4, scene 2

As Talbot draws up his troops before Bordeaux, he learns that he is surrounded by much greater French forces.

Act 4, scene 3

Sir William Lucy urges York to help Talbot, but York refuses to march until Somerset unites his cavalry with York’s…

Act 4, scene 4

Sir William Lucy chastises Somerset for not having helped Talbot, but Somerset blames York, who has apparently refused to communicate…

Act 4, scene 5

Talbot has been joined by his son John Talbot, whom he urges to flee certain death. John Talbot refuses to…

Act 4, scene 6

Talbot again urges his son to flee and is again rebuffed.

Act 4, scene 7

Talbot, holding his dead son, dies. Sir William Lucy comes to claim their bodies from the victorious French.

Act 5, scene 1

Henry follows Gloucester’s advice to make peace with France and to agree to marry the daughter of the earl of…

Act 5, scene 2

Charles is informed that the divided English army has united and is advancing toward him.

Act 5, scene 3

As the French face likely defeat, Pucelle conjures up devils, but they refuse to help, and she is captured by…

Act 5, scene 4

Pucelle, on her way to be executed by the English, is visited by her shepherd father, whom she scorns and…

Act 5, scene 5

Suffolk persuades Henry to marry Margaret over the objections of Gloucester. Suffolk plans to control Margaret and, through her, the…

Include links to:

Images
Glosses
Audio
Video
Essays
Quill icon
Scene 3
Enter Gloucester with his Servingmen in blue coats.

GLOUCESTER 
 I am come to survey the Tower this day.
 Since Henry’s death I fear there is conveyance.
 Where be these warders that they wait not here?—
 Open the gates! ’Tis Gloucester that calls.
Servingmen knock at the gate.
FIRST WARDER, within 
5 Who’s there that knocks so imperiously?
FIRST SERVINGMAN 
 It is the noble Duke of Gloucester.
SECOND WARDER, within 
 Whoe’er he be, you may not be let in.

33
Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 1. SC. 3

FIRST SERVINGMAN 
 Villains, answer you so the Lord Protector?
FIRST WARDER, within 
 The Lord protect him, so we answer him.
10 We do no otherwise than we are willed.
GLOUCESTER 
 Who willed you? Or whose will stands but mine?
 There’s none Protector of the realm but I.—
 Break up the gates! I’ll be your warrantize.
 Shall I be flouted thus by dunghill grooms?
Gloucester’s men rush at the Tower gates, and
Woodville, the lieutenant, speaks within.

WOODVILLE 
15 What noise is this? What traitors have we here?
GLOUCESTER 
 Lieutenant, is it you whose voice I hear?
 Open the gates. Here’s Gloucester that would enter.
WOODVILLE 
 Have patience, noble duke, I may not open.
 The Cardinal of Winchester forbids.
20 From him I have express commandment
 That thou nor none of thine shall be let in.
GLOUCESTER 
 Fainthearted Woodville, prizest him ’fore me?
 Arrogant Winchester, that haughty prelate
 Whom Henry, our late sovereign, ne’er could brook?
25 Thou art no friend to God or to the King.
 Open the gates, or I’ll shut thee out shortly.
SERVINGMEN 
 Open the gates unto the Lord Protector,
 Or we’ll burst them open if that you come not quickly.

Enter, to the Protector at the Tower gates, Winchester
in cardinal’s robes and his men in tawny coats.


WINCHESTER 
 How now, ambitious Humphrey, what means this?

35
Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 1. SC. 3

GLOUCESTER 
30 Peeled priest, dost thou command me to be shut out?
WINCHESTER 
 I do, thou most usurping proditor—
 And not Protector—of the King or realm.
GLOUCESTER 
 Stand back, thou manifest conspirator,
 Thou that contrived’st to murder our dead lord,
35 Thou that giv’st whores indulgences to sin!
 I’ll canvass thee in thy broad cardinal’s hat
 If thou proceed in this thy insolence.
WINCHESTER 
 Nay, stand thou back. I will not budge a foot.
 This be Damascus; be thou cursèd Cain
40 To slay thy brother Abel, if thou wilt.
GLOUCESTER 
 I will not slay thee, but I’ll drive thee back.
 Thy scarlet robes, as a child’s bearing-cloth,
 I’ll use to carry thee out of this place.
WINCHESTER 
 Do what thou dar’st, I beard thee to thy face.
GLOUCESTER 
45 What, am I dared and bearded to my face?—
 Draw, men, for all this privilegèd place.
 Blue coats to tawny coats!All draw their swords.
 Priest, beware your beard.
 I mean to tug it and to cuff you soundly.
50 Under my feet I’ll stamp thy cardinal’s hat;
 In spite of pope or dignities of Church,
 Here by the cheeks I’ll drag thee up and down.
WINCHESTER 
 Gloucester, thou wilt answer this before the Pope.
GLOUCESTER 
 Winchester goose, I cry “a rope, a rope!”—
55 Now beat them hence; why do you let them stay?—

37
Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 1. SC. 3

 Thee I’ll chase hence, thou wolf in sheep’s array.—
 Out, tawny coats, out, scarlet hypocrite!

Here Gloucester’s men beat out the Cardinal’s men,
and enter in the hurly-burly the Mayor of London
and his Officers.


MAYOR 
 Fie, lords, that you, being supreme magistrates,
 Thus contumeliously should break the peace!
GLOUCESTER 
60 Peace, Mayor? Thou know’st little of my wrongs.
 Here’s Beaufort, that regards nor God nor king,
 Hath here distrained the Tower to his use.
WINCHESTER 
 Here’s Gloucester, a foe to citizens,
 One that still motions war and never peace,
65 O’ercharging your free purses with large fines;
 That seeks to overthrow religion
 Because he is Protector of the realm,
 And would have armor here out of the Tower
 To crown himself king and suppress the Prince.
GLOUCESTER 
70 I will not answer thee with words, but blows.
Here they skirmish again.
MAYOR 
 Naught rests for me in this tumultuous strife
 But to make open proclamation.
 Come, officer, as loud as e’er thou canst, cry.
He hands an Officer a paper.
OFFICER reads All manner of men, assembled here in
75 arms this day against God’s peace and the King’s, we
 charge and command you, in his Highness’ name, to
 repair to your several dwelling places, and not to
 wear, handle, or use any sword, weapon, or dagger
 henceforward, upon pain of death.


39
Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 1. SC. 4

GLOUCESTER 
80 Cardinal, I’ll be no breaker of the law,
 But we shall meet and break our minds at large.
WINCHESTER 
 Gloucester, we’ll meet to thy cost, be sure.
 Thy heartblood I will have for this day’s work.
MAYOR 
 I’ll call for clubs if you will not away.
85 (Aside.) This cardinal’s more haughty than the devil!
GLOUCESTER 
 Mayor, farewell. Thou dost but what thou mayst.
WINCHESTER 
 Abominable Gloucester, guard thy head,
 For I intend to have it ere long.
Gloucester and Winchester exit
at separate doors, with their Servingmen.

MAYOR, to Officers 
 See the coast cleared, and then we will depart.
90 (Aside.) Good God, these nobles should such
 stomachs bear!
 I myself fight not once in forty year.
They exit.