List iconHenry VI, Part 3List icon

Henry VI, Part 3
Act 2, scene 6

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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 6
A loud alarum. Enter Clifford,
wearing the red rose, wounded.


CLIFFORD 
 Here burns my candle out; ay, here it dies,
 Which whiles it lasted gave King Henry light.
 O Lancaster, I fear thy overthrow
 More than my body’s parting with my soul!
5 My love and fear glued many friends to thee;
 And now I fall, thy tough commixtures melts,
 Impairing Henry, strength’ning misproud York;
 And whither fly the gnats but to the sun?
 And who shines now but Henry’s enemies?
10 O Phoebus, hadst thou never given consent
 That Phaëton should check thy fiery steeds,
 Thy burning car never had scorched the Earth!
 And Henry, hadst thou swayed as kings should do,
 Or as thy father and his father did,
15 Giving no ground unto the house of York,
 They never then had sprung like summer flies;
 I and ten thousand in this luckless realm
 Had left no mourning widows for our death,
 And thou this day hadst kept thy chair in peace.
20 For what doth cherish weeds but gentle air?
 And what makes robbers bold but too much lenity?
 Bootless are plaints, and cureless are my wounds;
 No way to fly, no strength to hold out flight.
 The foe is merciless and will not pity,

105
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 2. SC. 6

25 For at their hands I have deserved no pity.
 The air hath got into my deadly wounds,
 And much effuse of blood doth make me faint.
 Come, York and Richard, Warwick and the rest.
 I stabbed your fathers’ bosoms; split my breast.
He faints.

Alarum and retreat. Enter Edward, Warwick,
Richard, and Soldiers, Montague, and George,
all wearing the white rose.


EDWARD 
30 Now breathe we, lords. Good fortune bids us pause
 And smooth the frowns of war with peaceful looks.
 Some troops pursue the bloody-minded queen
 That led calm Henry, though he were a king,
 As doth a sail filled with a fretting gust
35 Command an argosy to stem the waves.
 But think you, lords, that Clifford fled with them?
WARWICK 
 No, ’tis impossible he should escape,
 For, though before his face I speak the words,
 Your brother Richard marked him for the grave,
40 And wheresoe’er he is, he’s surely dead.
Clifford groans, and dies.
RICHARD 
 Whose soul is that which takes her heavy leave?
 A deadly groan, like life and death’s departing.
EDWARD 
 See who it is; and, now the battle’s ended,
 If friend or foe, let him be gently used.
RICHARD 
45 Revoke that doom of mercy, for ’tis Clifford,
 Who not contented that he lopped the branch
 In hewing Rutland when his leaves put forth,
 But set his murd’ring knife unto the root

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Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 2. SC. 6

 From whence that tender spray did sweetly spring,
50 I mean our princely father, Duke of York.
WARWICK 
 From off the gates of York fetch down the head,
 Your father’s head, which Clifford placèd there;
 Instead whereof let this supply the room.
 Measure for measure must be answerèd.
EDWARD 
55 Bring forth that fatal screech owl to our house
 That nothing sung but death to us and ours;
 Now death shall stop his dismal threat’ning sound,
 And his ill-boding tongue no more shall speak.
WARWICK 
 I think his understanding is bereft.—
60 Speak, Clifford, dost thou know who speaks to
 thee?—
 Dark cloudy death o’ershades his beams of life,
 And he nor sees nor hears us what we say.
RICHARD 
 O, would he did—and so, perhaps, he doth!
65 ’Tis but his policy to counterfeit,
 Because he would avoid such bitter taunts
 Which in the time of death he gave our father.
GEORGE 
 If so thou think’st, vex him with eager words.
RICHARD 
 Clifford, ask mercy and obtain no grace.
EDWARD 
70 Clifford, repent in bootless penitence.
WARWICK 
 Clifford, devise excuses for thy faults.
GEORGE 
 While we devise fell tortures for thy faults.
RICHARD 
 Thou didst love York, and I am son to York.

109
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 2. SC. 6

EDWARD 
 Thou pitied’st Rutland; I will pity thee.
GEORGE 
75 Where’s Captain Margaret to fence you now?
WARWICK 
 They mock thee, Clifford; swear as thou wast wont.
RICHARD 
 What, not an oath? Nay, then, the world goes hard
 When Clifford cannot spare his friends an oath.
 I know by that he’s dead; and, by my soul,
80 If this right hand would buy but two hours’ life
 That I in all despite might rail at him,
 This hand should chop it off, and with the issuing
 blood
 Stifle the villain whose unstaunchèd thirst
85 York and young Rutland could not satisfy.
WARWICK 
 Ay, but he’s dead. Off with the traitor’s head,
 And rear it in the place your father’s stands.
 And now to London with triumphant march,
 There to be crownèd England’s royal king,
90 From whence shall Warwick cut the sea to France
 And ask the Lady Bona for thy queen;
 So shalt thou sinew both these lands together,
 And having France thy friend, thou shalt not dread
 The scattered foe that hopes to rise again;
95 For though they cannot greatly sting to hurt,
 Yet look to have them buzz to offend thine ears.
 First will I see the coronation,
 And then to Brittany I’ll cross the sea
 To effect this marriage, so it please my lord.
EDWARD 
100 Even as thou wilt, sweet Warwick, let it be;
 For in thy shoulder do I build my seat,
 And never will I undertake the thing
 Wherein thy counsel and consent is wanting.—

111
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 2. SC. 6

 Richard, I will create thee Duke of Gloucester,
105 And George, of Clarence. Warwick as ourself
 Shall do and undo as him pleaseth best.
RICHARD 
 Let me be Duke of Clarence, George of Gloucester,
 For Gloucester’s dukedom is too ominous.
WARWICK 
 Tut, that’s a foolish observation.
110 Richard, be Duke of Gloucester. Now to London,
 To see these honors in possession.
They exit, with Clifford’s body.