List iconHenry VI, Part 3List icon

Henry VI, Part 3
Act 1, scene 2

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Characters in the Play

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 2
Enter Richard, Edward, and Montague,
all wearing the white rose.


RICHARD 
 Brother, though I be youngest, give me leave.
EDWARD 
 No, I can better play the orator.
MONTAGUE 
 But I have reasons strong and forcible.

Enter the Duke of York.

YORK 
 Why, how now, sons and brother, at a strife?
5 What is your quarrel? How began it first?
EDWARD 
 No quarrel, but a slight contention.
YORK About what?
RICHARD 
 About that which concerns your Grace and us:
 The crown of England, father, which is yours.
YORK 
10 Mine, boy? Not till King Henry be dead.
RICHARD 
 Your right depends not on his life or death.
EDWARD 
 Now you are heir; therefore enjoy it now.

33
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 1. SC. 2

 By giving the house of Lancaster leave to breathe,
 It will outrun you, father, in the end.
YORK 
15 I took an oath that he should quietly reign.
EDWARD 
 But for a kingdom any oath may be broken.
 I would break a thousand oaths to reign one year.
RICHARD 
 No, God forbid your Grace should be forsworn.
YORK 
 I shall be, if I claim by open war.
RICHARD 
20 I’ll prove the contrary, if you’ll hear me speak.
YORK 
 Thou canst not, son; it is impossible.
RICHARD 
 An oath is of no moment, being not took
 Before a true and lawful magistrate
 That hath authority over him that swears.
25 Henry had none, but did usurp the place.
 Then, seeing ’twas he that made you to depose,
 Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous.
 Therefore, to arms! And, father, do but think
 How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown,
30 Within whose circuit is Elysium
 And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.
 Why do we linger thus? I cannot rest
 Until the white rose that I wear be dyed
 Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry’s heart.
YORK 
35 Richard, enough. I will be king or die.—
 Brother, thou shalt to London presently,
 And whet on Warwick to this enterprise.—
 Thou, Richard, shalt to the Duke of Norfolk
 And tell him privily of our intent.—
40 You, Edward, shall unto my Lord Cobham,

35
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 1. SC. 2

 With whom the Kentishmen will willingly rise;
 In them I trust, for they are soldiers
 Witty, courteous, liberal, full of spirit.
 While you are thus employed, what resteth more
45 But that I seek occasion how to rise,
 And yet the King not privy to my drift,
 Nor any of the house of Lancaster.

Enter a Messenger.

 But stay, what news? Why com’st thou in such post?
MESSENGER 
 The Queen with all the northern earls and lords
50 Intend here to besiege you in your castle.
 She is hard by with twenty thousand men.
 And therefore fortify your hold, my lord.He exits.
YORK 
 Ay, with my sword. What, think’st thou that we fear
 them?—
55 Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me;
 My brother Montague shall post to London.
 Let noble Warwick, Cobham, and the rest,
 Whom we have left Protectors of the King,
 With powerful policy strengthen themselves
60 And trust not simple Henry nor his oaths.
MONTAGUE 
 Brother, I go. I’ll win them, fear it not.
 And thus most humbly I do take my leave.
Montague exits.

Enter Sir John Mortimer, and his brother,
Sir Hugh Mortimer.


YORK 
 Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer, mine uncles,
 You are come to Sandal in a happy hour.
65 The army of the Queen mean to besiege us.

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

SIR JOHN 
 She shall not need; we’ll meet her in the field.
YORK What, with five thousand men?
RICHARD 
 Ay, with five hundred, father, for a need.
 A woman’s general; what should we fear?
A march afar off.
EDWARD 
70 I hear their drums. Let’s set our men in order,
 And issue forth and bid them battle straight.
YORK 
 Five men to twenty: though the odds be great,
 I doubt not, uncle, of our victory.
 Many a battle have I won in France
75 Whenas the enemy hath been ten to one.
 Why should I not now have the like success?
Alarum. They exit.