List iconHenry VI, Part 3List icon

Henry VI, Part 3
Act 5, scene 6

Synopsis:

Contents

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
Enter King Henry the Sixth, wearing the red rose,
and Richard of Gloucester, wearing the white rose,
with the Lieutenant above on the Tower walls.


RICHARD 
 Good day, my lord. What, at your book so hard?

245
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 5. SC. 6

KING HENRY 
 Ay, my good lord—“my lord,” I should say rather.
 ’Tis sin to flatter; “good” was little better:
 “Good Gloucester” and “good devil” were alike,
5 And both preposterous: therefore, not “good lord.”
RICHARD, to Lieutenant 
 Sirrah, leave us to ourselves; we must confer.
Lieutenant exits.
KING HENRY 
 So flies the reckless shepherd from the wolf;
 So first the harmless sheep doth yield his fleece
 And next his throat unto the butcher’s knife.
10 What scene of death hath Roscius now to act?
RICHARD 
 Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind;
 The thief doth fear each bush an officer.
KING HENRY 
 The bird that hath been limèd in a bush,
 With trembling wings misdoubteth every bush;
15 And I, the hapless male to one sweet bird,
 Have now the fatal object in my eye
 Where my poor young was limed, was caught, and
 killed.
RICHARD 
 Why, what a peevish fool was that of Crete
20 That taught his son the office of a fowl!
 And yet, for all his wings, the fool was drowned.
KING HENRY 
 I Daedalus, my poor boy Icarus,
 Thy father Minos, that denied our course;
 The sun that seared the wings of my sweet boy
25 Thy brother Edward, and thyself the sea
 Whose envious gulf did swallow up his life.
 Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words!
 My breast can better brook thy dagger’s point

247
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 5. SC. 6

 Than can my ears that tragic history.
30 But wherefore dost thou come? Is ’t for my life?
RICHARD 
 Think’st thou I am an executioner?
KING HENRY 
 A persecutor I am sure thou art.
 If murdering innocents be executing,
 Why, then, thou art an executioner.
RICHARD 
35 Thy son I killed for his presumption.
KING HENRY 
 Hadst thou been killed when first thou didst presume,
 Thou hadst not lived to kill a son of mine.
 And thus I prophesy: that many a thousand
 Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear,
40 And many an old man’s sigh, and many a widow’s
 And many an orphan’s water-standing eye,
 Men for their sons, wives for their husbands,
 Orphans for their parents’ timeless death,
 Shall rue the hour that ever thou wast born.
45 The owl shrieked at thy birth, an evil sign;
 The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time;
 Dogs howled, and hideous tempest shook down trees;
 The raven rooked her on the chimney’s top;
 And chatt’ring pies in dismal discords sung;
50 Thy mother felt more than a mother’s pain,
 And yet brought forth less than a mother’s hope:
 To wit, an indigested and deformèd lump,
 Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree.
 Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou wast born
55 To signify thou cam’st to bite the world.
 And if the rest be true which I have heard,
 Thou cam’st—
RICHARD 
 I’ll hear no more. Die, prophet, in thy speech;

249
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 5. SC. 6

Stabs him.
 For this amongst the rest was I ordained.
KING HENRY 
60 Ay, and for much more slaughter after this.
 O God, forgive my sins, and pardon thee.Dies.
RICHARD 
 What, will the aspiring blood of Lancaster
 Sink in the ground? I thought it would have mounted.
 See how my sword weeps for the poor king’s death.
65 O, may such purple tears be always shed
 From those that wish the downfall of our house.
 If any spark of life be yet remaining,
 Down, down to hell, and say I sent thee thither—
Stabs him again.
 I that have neither pity, love, nor fear.
70 Indeed, ’tis true that Henry told me of,
 For I have often heard my mother say
 I came into the world with my legs forward.
 Had I not reason, think you, to make haste
 And seek their ruin that usurped our right?
75 The midwife wondered, and the women cried
 “O Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth!”
 And so I was, which plainly signified
 That I should snarl, and bite, and play the dog.
 Then, since the heavens have shaped my body so,
80 Let hell make crook’d my mind to answer it.
 I have no brother, I am like no brother;
 And this word “love,” which graybeards call divine,
 Be resident in men like one another
 And not in me. I am myself alone.
85 Clarence, beware; thou keep’st me from the light,
 But I will sort a pitchy day for thee;
 For I will buzz abroad such prophecies
 That Edward shall be fearful of his life;
 And then to purge his fear, I’ll be thy death.
90 King Henry and the Prince his son are gone.

251
Henry VI, Part 3
ACT 5. SC. 7

 Clarence, thy turn is next, and then the rest,
 Counting myself but bad till I be best.
 I’ll throw thy body in another room,
 And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom.
He exits, carrying out the body.