Henry VI parts 2 and 3

Here we go. I’ve not posted in several days for a variety of reasons. Firstly, I’ve been moving, and only have Internet through my laptop. It runs on 3G, and cell service is spotty at best. Secondly, I was waiting to finish Henry VI part 3, so that I could discuss it and Henry VI part 2 together. The third reason is that I’ve been rewriting my notes from my alter-ego’s job. Classes start back way too soon.

Now, let’s discuss Henry VI part 2 and Henry VI part 3.

The plays are similar. They fit well with each other. Henry VI part 2 ends with a cliffhanger of sorts. We have the beginnings of the Wars of the Roses from the start of the series with Henry VI part 1, but the war starts to flame in the second part. Henry marries Margaret of France after his Lord Protector and Regent help to lose almost all of the lands his father had won. Margaret is ambitious and sets about to bring the end of Henry’s regent. She does so by accusing his wife of witchcraft and him of treason. After this, the peasants revolt. This revolution makes it all the way to London before it is quelled. This, however, does not stop Richard, Duke of York rushing from Ireland with his own invasion force. He states it is to stop the peasant revolt, but in Henry VI part 3, we discover he’s after the throne.

Henry VI part 3

brings the war to full swing. Richard, Duke of York is assassinated after he strikes a deal with Henry VI to be the heir to the throne. After this York’s sons, Edward (IV) and Richard (III) wage war on Henry VI. They succeed in one act, only to lose in another. By the end of the play, Edward is king right out. Henry VI, his son, and wife are dead. (Richard [III] is responsible for Henry VI and his son’s death.) This play sets up Richard III.

What can be said about these plays? They are pretty good histories. They are full of intrigue and war. The major problem is that it’s hard to keep up with who is who. In Henry VI part 3, the characters change names frequently. Richard (III) is Richard sometimes and Gloucester others. This become very confusing. Who is warring with who is also a point of confusion. This is found in both plays. There are too many dukes, earls, and such to keep up with.

I liked the plays, all three of them, though these last two were better. I like that they set up what is still my favorite history Richard III. The only problem is that Henry VI part 3 liked to have Richard (III) revealing too much of the evil character. He asides to his real intentions, and is a very difficult character to like, especially when he is going to be the main character of his own play. Of course with histories, we know everything bad the main character did. Hitler has movies made where he is the central figure and we all want him to die, so I supposed Richard III was the first take on this.

Henry VI part 2

and Henry VI part 3 are two good plays that go good together. So far they are better than Henry IV parts 1 and 2 and Henry V, which was a bit confusing. Of course it is superior to Richard II, but all these plays deal with each other. It has been a long run, with still one more to come. I welcome the glorious son of York.

Let us kill all the lawyers – Henry VI, part 2


Vic Kerry


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Filed under History, Shakespeare

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