Characters in the 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.
supporters against Cade