List iconHenry VI, Part 1List icon

Henry VI, Part 1
Act 2, scene 1

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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…

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Scene 1
Enter on the walls a French Sergeant of a Band,
with two Sentinels.


SERGEANT 
 Sirs, take your places and be vigilant.
 If any noise or soldier you perceive
 Near to the walls, by some apparent sign
 Let us have knowledge at the court of guard.
SENTINEL 
5 Sergeant, you shall.Sergeant exits.
 Thus are poor servitors,
 When others sleep upon their quiet beds,
 Constrained to watch in darkness, rain, and cold.

Enter Talbot, Bedford, and Burgundy, below,
with scaling ladders.


TALBOT 
 Lord Regent, and redoubted Burgundy,
10 By whose approach the regions of Artois,
 Walloon, and Picardy are friends to us,
 This happy night the Frenchmen are secure,
 Having all day caroused and banqueted.
 Embrace we then this opportunity,
15 As fitting best to quittance their deceit
 Contrived by art and baleful sorcery.
BEDFORD 
 Coward of France, how much he wrongs his fame,
 Despairing of his own arm’s fortitude,
 To join with witches and the help of hell!
57

59
Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 2. SC. 1

BURGUNDY 
20 Traitors have never other company.
 But what’s that Pucelle whom they term so pure?
TALBOT 
 A maid, they say.
BEDFORD  A maid? And be so martial?
BURGUNDY 
 Pray God she prove not masculine ere long,
25 If underneath the standard of the French
 She carry armor as she hath begun.
TALBOT 
 Well, let them practice and converse with spirits.
 God is our fortress, in whose conquering name
 Let us resolve to scale their flinty bulwarks.
BEDFORD 
30 Ascend, brave Talbot. We will follow thee.
TALBOT 
 Not all together. Better far, I guess,
 That we do make our entrance several ways,
 That if it chance the one of us do fail,
 The other yet may rise against their force.
BEDFORD 
35 Agreed. I’ll to yond corner.
BURGUNDY  And I to this.
TALBOT 
 And here will Talbot mount, or make his grave.
 Now, Salisbury, for thee and for the right
 Of English Henry, shall this night appear
40 How much in duty I am bound to both.
Scaling the walls, they cry
“Saint George! À Talbot!”

SENTINEL 
 Arm, arm! The enemy doth make assault.
The English, pursuing the Sentinels, exit aloft.
The French leap o’er the walls in their shirts.

61
Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 2. SC. 1

Enter several ways, Bastard, Alanson, Reignier,
half ready, and half unready.


ALANSON 
 How now, my lords? What, all unready so?
BASTARD 
 Unready? Ay, and glad we scaped so well.
REIGNIER 
 ’Twas time, I trow, to wake and leave our beds,
45 Hearing alarums at our chamber doors.
ALANSON 
 Of all exploits since first I followed arms
 Ne’er heard I of a warlike enterprise
 More venturous or desperate than this.
BASTARD 
 I think this Talbot be a fiend of hell.
REIGNIER 
50 If not of hell, the heavens sure favor him.
ALANSON 
 Here cometh Charles. I marvel how he sped.

Enter Charles and Joan la Pucelle.

BASTARD 
 Tut, holy Joan was his defensive guard.
CHARLES 
 Is this thy cunning, thou deceitful dame?
 Didst thou at first, to flatter us withal,
55 Make us partakers of a little gain
 That now our loss might be ten times so much?
PUCELLE 
 Wherefore is Charles impatient with his friend?
 At all times will you have my power alike?
 Sleeping or waking, must I still prevail,
60 Or will you blame and lay the fault on me?—
 Improvident soldiers, had your watch been good,
 This sudden mischief never could have fall’n.

63
Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 2. SC. 1

CHARLES 
 Duke of Alanson, this was your default,
 That, being captain of the watch tonight,
65 Did look no better to that weighty charge.
ALANSON 
 Had all your quarters been as safely kept
 As that whereof I had the government,
 We had not been thus shamefully surprised.
BASTARD 
 Mine was secure.
REIGNIER 70 And so was mine, my lord.
CHARLES 
 And for myself, most part of all this night
 Within her quarter and mine own precinct
 I was employed in passing to and fro
 About relieving of the sentinels.
75 Then how or which way should they first break in?
PUCELLE 
 Question, my lords, no further of the case,
 How or which way; ’tis sure they found some place
 But weakly guarded, where the breach was made.
 And now there rests no other shift but this:
80 To gather our soldiers, scattered and dispersed,
 And lay new platforms to endamage them.

Alarum. Enter an English Soldier, crying,
“À Talbot, À Talbot!”
 The French fly,
leaving their clothes behind.


SOLDIER 
 I’ll be so bold to take what they have left.
 The cry of “Talbot” serves me for a sword,
 For I have loaden me with many spoils,
85 Using no other weapon but his name.
He exits.