Henry VI Part 2

by: William Shakespeare

Suggested Essay Topics

Consider royal justice in this play, particularly the Duchess and the petitioners who come to Gloucester.

Discuss the violence enacted on bodies throughout this play. Why do you think this play is so violent?

Consider Jack Cade and his revolt, alongside his claims about what he will do as king. What kinds of frustrations of the commoners does he seem to be playing out?

There are two scenes in this play where lying commoners, Simpcox and Peter, are "punished." Why do you think these scenes are included in the play? What does it show about the interaction between the nobles and the commoners?

What is the desired end of all the plots of the nobles? Consider the variety of grouping of scheming nobles.

Is Gloucester the last honorable man? Why or why not?

This play has been called both 1 Henry VI and The First Part of the Contention of the Two Famous Houses of York and Lancaster. These different titles suggest very different emphases to the play. If you were to name the play after the most important character or event, what would you call it?


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