List iconHenry VI, Part 2List icon

Henry VI, Part 2
Act 2, scene 2

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Entire Play

With a weak, unworldly king on the throne, the English nobility heightens its struggle for power in Henry VI, Part 2,…

Act 1, scene 1

King Henry meets his consort Queen Margaret, brought by Suffolk from France. The nobles fall into dissension, with the Cardinal,…

Act 1, scene 2

The Duchess of Gloucester’s dream of becoming queen is rebuked by her husband but encouraged by the treacherous priest John…

Act 1, scene 3

Queen Margaret and Suffolk dismiss petitioners seeking Gloucester’s aid and then conspire against Gloucester. Somerset and York then clash, as…

Act 1, scene 4

The Duchess of Gloucester watches while a spirit is conjured up to prophesy the fates of her rivals, but she…

Act 2, scene 1

King Henry and his court are hunting when they are interrupted by an announcement of a miracle in nearby Saint…

Act 2, scene 2

York persuades Salisbury and Warwick of the validity of his claim to the throne.

Act 2, scene 3

King Henry sentences the Duchess to public penance and exile, and removes Gloucester from his office as Lord Protector. Then…

Act 2, scene 4

Gloucester watches his Duchess’s public humiliation as she goes into exile. He is summoned to Parliament.

Act 3, scene 1

In Parliament Queen Margaret and the nobles level charges against Gloucester, but King Henry remains convinced of his uncle’s innocence….

Act 3, scene 2

The news of Gloucester’s murder makes King Henry faint and the Commons rise to demand Suffolk’s exile. The King obliges…

Act 3, scene 3

The Cardinal dies.

Act 4, scene 1

Attempting to sail to France, Suffolk is captured by shipmen and brutally assassinated.

Act 4, scene 2

In a plot instigated by York, Jack Cade leads a rebellion against King Henry. The Staffords seek to put it…

Act 4, scene 3

Cade defeats and kills the Staffords and marches on London.

Act 4, scene 4

King Henry flees London and Queen Margaret mourns Suffolk’s death. Lord Saye, whom the rebels hate, decides to hide in…

Act 4, scene 5

Citizens of London plead for military aid from Lord Scales, who commands forces at the Tower. He sends Matthew Gough,…

Act 4, scene 6

Cade enters London.

Act 4, scene 7

Cade defeats and kills Gough. Lord Saye is captured and killed.

Act 4, scene 8

Lord Clifford and Buckingham persuade Cade’s followers to return to King Henry. Cade flees.

Act 4, scene 9

As King Henry rejoices at Cade’s defeat, a messenger announces York’s approach with an Irish army ostensibly seeking Somerset’s arrest…

Act 4, scene 10

A starving Cade is killed in a fight with the Kentish gentleman Alexander Iden, in whose garden Cade looked for…

Act 5, scene 1

Buckingham seemingly placates York, and King Henry rewards Iden. York, seeing Somerset at liberty, announces his claim to the throne,…

Act 5, scene 2

York kills Lord Clifford, and York’s son Richard kills the Duke of Somerset. Defeated in battle, King Henry flees to…

Act 5, scene 3

Victorious, York and his followers set out for London.

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Scene 2
Enter York, Salisbury, and Warwick.

YORK 
 Now, my good lords of Salisbury and Warwick,
 Our simple supper ended, give me leave,
 In this close walk, to satisfy myself
 In craving your opinion of my title,
5 Which is infallible, to England’s crown.
SALISBURY 
 My lord, I long to hear it at full.
WARWICK 
 Sweet York, begin; and if thy claim be good,
 The Nevilles are thy subjects to command.
YORK Then thus:
10 Edward the Third, my lords, had seven sons:

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Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 2

 The first, Edward the Black Prince, Prince of Wales;
 The second, William of Hatfield; and the third,
 Lionel, Duke of Clarence; next to whom
 Was John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster;
15 The fifth was Edmund Langley, Duke of York;
 The sixth was Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of
 Gloucester;
 William of Windsor was the seventh and last.
 Edward the Black Prince died before his father
20 And left behind him Richard, his only son,
 Who, after Edward the Third’s death, reigned as
 king
 Till Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster,
 The eldest son and heir of John of Gaunt,
25 Crowned by the name of Henry the Fourth,
 Seized on the realm, deposed the rightful king,
 Sent his poor queen to France, from whence she
 came,
 And him to Pomfret; where, as all you know,
30 Harmless Richard was murdered traitorously.
WARWICK Father, the Duke hath told the truth.
 Thus got the house of Lancaster the crown.
YORK 
 Which now they hold by force and not by right;
 For Richard, the first son’s heir, being dead,
35 The issue of the next son should have reigned.
SALISBURY 
 But William of Hatfield died without an heir.
YORK 
 The third son, Duke of Clarence, from whose line
 I claim the crown, had issue, Philippa, a daughter,
 Who married Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March.
40 Edmund had issue, Roger, Earl of March;
 Roger had issue: Edmund, Anne, and Eleanor.
SALISBURY 
 This Edmund, in the reign of Bolingbroke,

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Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 2

 As I have read, laid claim unto the crown
 And, but for Owen Glendower, had been king,
45 Who kept him in captivity till he died.
 But to the rest.
YORK  His eldest sister, Anne,
 My mother, being heir unto the crown,
 Married Richard, Earl of Cambridge, who was son
50 To Edmund Langley, Edward the Third’s fifth son.
 By her I claim the kingdom. She was heir
 To Roger, Earl of March, who was the son
 Of Edmund Mortimer, who married Philippa,
 Sole daughter unto Lionel, Duke of Clarence.
55 So, if the issue of the elder son
 Succeed before the younger, I am king.
WARWICK 
 What plain proceedings is more plain than this?
 Henry doth claim the crown from John of Gaunt,
 The fourth son; York claims it from the third.
60 Till Lionel’s issue fails, his should not reign.
 It fails not yet, but flourishes in thee
 And in thy sons, fair slips of such a stock.
 Then, father Salisbury, kneel we together,
 And in this private plot be we the first
65 That shall salute our rightful sovereign
 With honor of his birthright to the crown.
SALISBURY, WARWICK, kneeling 
 Long live our sovereign Richard, England’s king!
YORK 
 We thank you, lords. They rise. But I am not your
 king
70 Till I be crowned, and that my sword be stained
 With heart-blood of the house of Lancaster;
 And that’s not suddenly to be performed,
 But with advice and silent secrecy.
 Do you as I do in these dangerous days:
75 Wink at the Duke of Suffolk’s insolence,

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Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 3

 At Beaufort’s pride, at Somerset’s ambition,
 At Buckingham, and all the crew of them,
 Till they have snared the shepherd of the flock,
 That virtuous prince, the good Duke Humphrey.
80 ’Tis that they seek; and they, in seeking that,
 Shall find their deaths, if York can prophesy.
SALISBURY 
 My lord, break we off. We know your mind at full.
WARWICK 
 My heart assures me that the Earl of Warwick
 Shall one day make the Duke of York a king.
YORK 
85 And, Neville, this I do assure myself:
 Richard shall live to make the Earl of Warwick
 The greatest man in England but the King.
They exit.