List iconHenry VI, Part 3List icon

Henry VI, Part 3
Act 1, scene 1

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Entire Play

The English crown changes hands often in Henry VI, Part 3. At first, Richard, Duke of York, is allied with Warwick….

Act 1, scene 1

Richard, Duke of York, aided by the Earl of Warwick, occupies King Henry VI’s throne. Faced with Warwick’s soldiers, Henry…

Act 1, scene 2

York is persuaded by his sons Edward and Richard to break his oath to Henry and fight for the crown….

Act 1, scene 3

Rutland, youngest son of York, is killed by Lord Clifford as revenge against York, who killed Clifford’s father.

Act 1, scene 4

At the battle of Wakefield, York is captured by the victorious Queen Margaret, Prince Edward, Lord Clifford, and the Earl…

Act 2, scene 1

Edward and Richard receive the news of their father’s death. Warwick then brings news of the Yorkist defeat at St….

Act 2, scene 2

Warwick and the Yorkists confront King Henry, Margaret, the newly knighted Prince Edward, and the other Lancastrians. Both the Lancastrian…

Act 2, scene 3

Warwick retires from the battle and meets Edward, Richard, and George. They all fear defeat, but take their farewells and…

Act 2, scene 4

Richard and Clifford fight. When Warwick enters, Clifford flees. Richard prepares to search for Clifford in order to fight to…

Act 2, scene 5

As the battle of Towton proceeds, King Henry contemplates his unhappy life as king and then observes as a young…

Act 2, scene 6

Lord Clifford enters wounded to the death. Warwick, Edward, Richard, and George find Clifford’s body and taunt him. They prepare…

Act 3, scene 1

King Henry is captured by two gamekeepers, who now owe allegiance to King Edward.

Act 3, scene 2

King Edward, while hearing Lady Grey’s petition for her dead husband’s land, decides he wants her for his mistress; she…

Act 3, scene 3

As Queen Margaret persuades the French king Lewis to support her and Prince Edward, Warwick arrives with the offer of…

Act 4, scene 1

King Edward learns of Warwick’s defection and orders that troops be levied in preparation for war. Clarence decides to join…

Act 4, scene 2

Warwick and Clarence prepare to surprise King Edward, who awaits the French troops in a lightly guarded camp.

Act 4, scene 3

Warwick, Clarence, and their troops capture King Edward, remove his crown, and send him captive to the Archbishop of York….

Act 4, scene 4

King Edward’s wife, Queen Elizabeth, hearing of Edward’s capture, fears for her life and that of her unborn child. She…

Act 4, scene 5

Richard rescues King Edward from his captivity. They prepare to sail to Flanders.

Act 4, scene 6

Warwick rescues King Henry from imprisonment in the Tower of London. Henry turns over the government to Warwick and Clarence.

Act 4, scene 7

Edward, having returned from Flanders with a supporting army, enters the city of York, claiming that he wants only his…

Act 4, scene 8

King Henry, left at the Bishop’s Palace in London while Warwick and other Lancastrian leaders search for additional troops, is…

Act 5, scene 1

At Coventry, Warwick awaits the arrival of Clarence. Other forces arrive in Warwick’s support. King Edward then arrives, and is…

Act 5, scene 2

At the battle of Barnet, King Edward brings in a wounded Warwick and leaves him to his death. Lancastrian lords…

Act 5, scene 3

King Edward, Richard, and Clarence are triumphant after the battle of Barnet, but they know they must now meet Queen…

Act 5, scene 4

Queen Margaret rallies her forces despite Henry’s capture and Warwick’s death. King Edward and his forces enter. The battle of…

Act 5, scene 5

Queen Margaret and other Lancastrian leaders are brought in as captives. King Edward sends out orders to find Prince Edward….

Act 5, scene 6

Richard kills King Henry in the Tower, and then begins to plot his own way to the crown, now that…

Act 5, scene 7

King Edward celebrates the Yorkist triumph by having Richard and Clarence kiss his infant son. Richard, while outwardly loving the…

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Scene 1
Alarum. Enter Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York;
Edward; Richard; Norfolk; Montague; Warwick; and
Soldiers, all wearing the white rose.


WARWICK 
 I wonder how the King escaped our hands.
YORK 
 While we pursued the horsemen of the north,
 He slyly stole away and left his men;
 Whereat the great lord of Northumberland,
5 Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat,
 Cheered up the drooping army; and himself,
 Lord Clifford, and Lord Stafford, all abreast,
 Charged our main battle’s front and, breaking in,
 Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.
EDWARD 
10 Lord Stafford’s father, Duke of Buckingham,
 Is either slain or wounded dangerous.
 I cleft his beaver with a downright blow.
 That this is true, father, behold his blood.
He shows his bloody sword.
MONTAGUE, to York, showing his sword 
 And, brother, here’s the Earl of Wiltshire’s blood,
15 Whom I encountered as the battles joined.
RICHARD, holding up a severed head 
 Speak thou for me, and tell them what I did.
7

9
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 1. SC. 1

YORK 
 Richard hath best deserved of all my sons.
 But is your Grace dead, my lord of Somerset?
NORFOLK 
 Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt!
RICHARD 
20 Thus do I hope to shake King Henry’s head.
WARWICK 
 And so do I, victorious prince of York.
 Before I see thee seated in that throne
 Which now the house of Lancaster usurps,
 I vow by heaven these eyes shall never close.
25 This is the palace of the fearful king,
 And this the regal seat. Possess it, York,
 For this is thine and not King Henry’s heirs’.
YORK 
 Assist me, then, sweet Warwick, and I will,
 For hither we have broken in by force.
NORFOLK 
30 We’ll all assist you. He that flies shall die.
YORK 
 Thanks, gentle Norfolk. Stay by me, my lords.—
 And soldiers, stay and lodge by me this night.
They go up onto a dais or platform.
WARWICK 
 And when the King comes, offer him no violence
 Unless he seek to thrust you out perforce.
Soldiers exit or retire out of sight.
YORK 
35 The Queen this day here holds her parliament,
 But little thinks we shall be of her council.
 By words or blows, here let us win our right.
RICHARD 
 Armed as we are, let’s stay within this house.
WARWICK 
 The Bloody Parliament shall this be called

11
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 1. SC. 1

40 Unless Plantagenet, Duke of York, be king
 And bashful Henry deposed, whose cowardice
 Hath made us bywords to our enemies.
YORK 
 Then leave me not, my lords; be resolute.
 I mean to take possession of my right.
WARWICK 
45 Neither the King nor he that loves him best,
 The proudest he that holds up Lancaster,
 Dares stir a wing if Warwick shake his bells.
 I’ll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares.
 Resolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown.
York sits in the chair of state.

Flourish. Enter King Henry, Clifford, Northumberland,
Westmorland, Exeter, and the rest, all wearing
the red rose.


KING HENRY 
50 My lords, look where the sturdy rebel sits,
 Even in the chair of state! Belike he means,
 Backed by the power of Warwick, that false peer,
 To aspire unto the crown and reign as king.
 Earl of Northumberland, he slew thy father,
55 And thine, Lord Clifford, and you both have vowed
 revenge
 On him, his sons, his favorites, and his friends.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 If I be not, heavens be revenged on me!
CLIFFORD 
 The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in steel.
WESTMORLAND 
60 What, shall we suffer this? Let’s pluck him down.
 My heart for anger burns. I cannot brook it.
KING HENRY 
 Be patient, gentle Earl of Westmorland.

13
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 1. SC. 1

CLIFFORD 
 Patience is for poltroons such as he.
 He durst not sit there had your father lived.
65 My gracious lord, here in the Parliament
 Let us assail the family of York.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 Well hast thou spoken, cousin. Be it so.
KING HENRY 
 Ah, know you not the city favors them,
 And they have troops of soldiers at their beck?
EXETER 
70 But when the Duke is slain, they’ll quickly fly.
KING HENRY 
 Far be the thought of this from Henry’s heart,
 To make a shambles of the Parliament House!
 Cousin of Exeter, frowns, words, and threats
 Shall be the war that Henry means to use.—
75 Thou factious Duke of York, descend my throne
 And kneel for grace and mercy at my feet.
 I am thy sovereign.
YORK I am thine.
EXETER 
 For shame, come down. He made thee Duke of
80 York.
YORK 
 It was my inheritance, as the earldom was.
EXETER 
 Thy father was a traitor to the crown.
WARWICK 
 Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown
 In following this usurping Henry.
CLIFFORD 
85 Whom should he follow but his natural king?
WARWICK 
 True, Clifford, that’s Richard, Duke of York.

15
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 1. SC. 1

KING HENRY, to York 
 And shall I stand, and thou sit in my throne?
YORK 
 It must and shall be so. Content thyself.
WARWICK, to King Henry 
 Be Duke of Lancaster. Let him be king.
WESTMORLAND 
90 He is both king and Duke of Lancaster,
 And that the lord of Westmorland shall maintain.
WARWICK 
 And Warwick shall disprove it. You forget
 That we are those which chased you from the field
 And slew your fathers and, with colors spread,
95 Marched through the city to the palace gates.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my grief;
 And by his soul, thou and thy house shall rue it.
WESTMORLAND 
 Plantagenet, of thee and these thy sons,
 Thy kinsmen, and thy friends, I’ll have more lives
100 Than drops of blood were in my father’s veins.
CLIFFORD 
 Urge it no more, lest that, instead of words,
 I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger
 As shall revenge his death before I stir.
WARWICK 
 Poor Clifford, how I scorn his worthless threats!
YORK 
105 Will you we show our title to the crown?
 If not, our swords shall plead it in the field.
KING HENRY 
 What title hast thou, traitor, to the crown?
 Thy father was as thou art, Duke of York;
 Thy grandfather, Roger Mortimer, Earl of March.
110 I am the son of Henry the Fifth,

17
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 1. SC. 1

 Who made the Dauphin and the French to stoop
 And seized upon their towns and provinces.
WARWICK 
 Talk not of France, sith thou hast lost it all.
KING HENRY 
 The Lord Protector lost it and not I.
115 When I was crowned, I was but nine months old.
RICHARD 
 You are old enough now, and yet, methinks, you
 lose.—
 Father, tear the crown from the usurper’s head.
EDWARD 
 Sweet father, do so. Set it on your head.
MONTAGUE, to York 
120 Good brother, as thou lov’st and honorest arms,
 Let’s fight it out and not stand caviling thus.
RICHARD 
 Sound drums and trumpets, and the King will fly.
YORK Sons, peace!
KING HENRY 
 Peace thou, and give King Henry leave to speak!
WARWICK 
125 Plantagenet shall speak first. Hear him, lords,
 And be you silent and attentive too,
 For he that interrupts him shall not live.
KING HENRY 
 Think’st thou that I will leave my kingly throne,
 Wherein my grandsire and my father sat?
130 No. First shall war unpeople this my realm;
 Ay, and their colors, often borne in France,
 And now in England to our heart’s great sorrow,
 Shall be my winding-sheet. Why faint you, lords?
 My title’s good, and better far than his.
WARWICK 
135 Prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king.

19
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 1. SC. 1

KING HENRY 
 Henry the Fourth by conquest got the crown.
YORK 
 ’Twas by rebellion against his king.
KING HENRY, aside 
 I know not what to say; my title’s weak.—
 Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir?
YORK 140What then?
KING HENRY 
 An if he may, then am I lawful king;
 For Richard, in the view of many lords,
 Resigned the crown to Henry the Fourth,
 Whose heir my father was, and I am his.
YORK 
145 He rose against him, being his sovereign,
 And made him to resign his crown perforce.
WARWICK 
 Suppose, my lords, he did it unconstrained,
 Think you ’twere prejudicial to his crown?
EXETER 
 No, for he could not so resign his crown
150 But that the next heir should succeed and reign.
KING HENRY 
 Art thou against us, Duke of Exeter?
EXETER 
 His is the right, and therefore pardon me.
YORK 
 Why whisper you, my lords, and answer not?
EXETER 
 My conscience tells me he is lawful king.
KING HENRY, aside 
155 All will revolt from me and turn to him.
NORTHUMBERLAND, to York 
 Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay’st,
 Think not that Henry shall be so deposed.

21
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 1. SC. 1

WARWICK 
 Deposed he shall be, in despite of all.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 Thou art deceived. ’Tis not thy southern power
160 Of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, nor of Kent,
 Which makes thee thus presumptuous and proud,
 Can set the Duke up in despite of me.
CLIFFORD 
 King Henry, be thy title right or wrong,
 Lord Clifford vows to fight in thy defense.
165 May that ground gape and swallow me alive
 Where I shall kneel to him that slew my father.
KING HENRY 
 O Clifford, how thy words revive my heart!
YORK 
 Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown.—
 What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords?
WARWICK, to King Henry 
170 Do right unto this princely Duke of York,
 Or I will fill the house with armèd men,
 And over the chair of state, where now he sits,
 Write up his title with usurping blood.
He stamps with his foot,
and the Soldiers show themselves.

KING HENRY 
 My lord of Warwick, hear but one word:
175 Let me for this my lifetime reign as king.
YORK 
 Confirm the crown to me and to mine heirs,
 And thou shalt reign in quiet while thou liv’st.
KING HENRY 
 I am content. Richard Plantagenet,
 Enjoy the kingdom after my decease.
CLIFFORD 
180 What wrong is this unto the Prince your son!

23
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 1. SC. 1

WARWICK 
 What good is this to England and himself!
WESTMORLAND 
 Base, fearful, and despairing Henry!
CLIFFORD 
 How hast thou injured both thyself and us!
WESTMORLAND 
 I cannot stay to hear these articles.
NORTHUMBERLAND 185Nor I.
CLIFFORD 
 Come, cousin, let us tell the Queen these news.
WESTMORLAND 
 Farewell, faint-hearted and degenerate king,
 In whose cold blood no spark of honor bides.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 Be thou a prey unto the house of York,
190 And die in bands for this unmanly deed.
CLIFFORD 
 In dreadful war mayst thou be overcome,
 Or live in peace abandoned and despised!
Westmorland, Northumberland, Clifford,
and their Soldiers exit.

WARWICK 
 Turn this way, Henry, and regard them not.
EXETER 
 They seek revenge and therefore will not yield.
KING HENRY 
195 Ah, Exeter!
WARWICK  Why should you sigh, my lord?
KING HENRY 
 Not for myself, Lord Warwick, but my son,
 Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit.
 But be it as it may. (To York.) I here entail
200 The crown to thee and to thine heirs forever,
 Conditionally, that here thou take an oath
 To cease this civil war and, whilst I live,

25
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 1. SC. 1

 To honor me as thy king and sovereign,
 And neither by treason nor hostility
205 To seek to put me down and reign thyself.
YORK 
 This oath I willingly take and will perform.
WARWICK 
 Long live King Henry! Plantagenet, embrace him.
York stands, and King Henry ascends the dais.
KING HENRY, to York 
 And long live thou and these thy forward sons!
They embrace.
YORK 
 Now York and Lancaster are reconciled.
EXETER 
210 Accursed be he that seeks to make them foes.
Sennet. Here they come down.
YORK, to King Henry 
 Farewell, my gracious lord. I’ll to my castle.
WARWICK 
 And I’ll keep London with my soldiers.
NORFOLK 
 And I to Norfolk with my followers.
MONTAGUE 
 And I unto the sea, from whence I came.
York, Edward, Richard, Warwick, Norfolk,
Montague, and their Soldiers exit.

KING HENRY 
215 And I with grief and sorrow to the court.

Enter Queen Margaret, with Prince Edward.

EXETER 
 Here comes the Queen, whose looks bewray her
 anger.
 I’ll steal away.
KING HENRY  Exeter, so will I.
They begin to exit.

27
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 1. SC. 1

QUEEN MARGARET 
220 Nay, go not from me. I will follow thee.
KING HENRY 
 Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Who can be patient in such extremes?
 Ah, wretched man, would I had died a maid
 And never seen thee, never borne thee son,
225 Seeing thou hast proved so unnatural a father.
 Hath he deserved to lose his birthright thus?
 Hadst thou but loved him half so well as I,
 Or felt that pain which I did for him once,
 Or nourished him as I did with my blood,
230 Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heart-blood
 there,
 Rather than have made that savage duke thine heir
 And disinherited thine only son.
PRINCE EDWARD 
 Father, you cannot disinherit me.
235 If you be king, why should not I succeed?
KING HENRY 
 Pardon me, Margaret.—Pardon me, sweet son.
 The Earl of Warwick and the Duke enforced me.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Enforced thee? Art thou king and wilt be forced?
 I shame to hear thee speak. Ah, timorous wretch,
240 Thou hast undone thyself, thy son, and me,
 And giv’n unto the house of York such head
 As thou shalt reign but by their sufferance!
 To entail him and his heirs unto the crown,
 What is it but to make thy sepulcher
245 And creep into it far before thy time?
 Warwick is Chancellor and the lord of Callice;
 Stern Falconbridge commands the Narrow Seas;
 The Duke is made Protector of the realm;
 And yet shalt thou be safe? Such safety finds

29
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 1. SC. 1

250 The trembling lamb environèd with wolves.
 Had I been there, which am a silly woman,
 The soldiers should have tossed me on their pikes
 Before I would have granted to that act.
 But thou preferr’st thy life before thine honor.
255 And seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself
 Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed,
 Until that act of Parliament be repealed
 Whereby my son is disinherited.
 The northern lords that have forsworn thy colors
260 Will follow mine if once they see them spread;
 And spread they shall be, to thy foul disgrace
 And utter ruin of the house of York.
 Thus do I leave thee.—Come, son, let’s away.
 Our army is ready. Come, we’ll after them.
KING HENRY 
265 Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Thou hast spoke too much already. Get thee gone.
KING HENRY 
 Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay with me?
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Ay, to be murdered by his enemies!
PRINCE EDWARD 
 When I return with victory from the field,
270 I’ll see your Grace. Till then, I’ll follow her.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Come, son, away. We may not linger thus.
Queen Margaret and Prince Edward exit.
KING HENRY 
 Poor queen! How love to me and to her son
 Hath made her break out into terms of rage!
 Revenged may she be on that hateful duke,
275 Whose haughty spirit, wingèd with desire,
 Will cost my crown, and like an empty eagle
 Tire on the flesh of me and of my son.

31
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 1. SC. 2

 The loss of those three lords torments my heart.
 I’ll write unto them and entreat them fair.
280 Come, cousin, you shall be the messenger.
EXETER 
 And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all.
Flourish. They exit.