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Henry VI Part 3

William Shakespeare

Act IV, Scenes i-iv

Act III, Scene iii

Act IV, Scenes v-vii

Summary

Richard, George, Somerset, and Montague enter, discussing Edward's marriage with the Lady Gray, which they think he should have put off until Warwick returned. Then, Henry enters with Lady Gray and other lords, including Hastings. Edward asks his brothers how they like his match; they say they are as pleased as Louis or Warwick. Edward retorts that he is king and can do what he likes. George says that Louis has become his enemy and Warwick dishonored and alienated by Edward's new marriage.

Montague reminds the lords that an alliance with France would have strengthened the kingdom, but Hastings insists that England is strong enough on its own. Richard accuses Edward of arranging a marriage between another lord's daughter and Lady Gray's brother, when such a pairing would have better suited George or himself. Edward repeats again that he is king and will not be held subject to his brothers' will.

The messenger returns from France with news of Warwick's change of allegiance, Margaret's armed preparedness, and Louis and Lady Bona's displeasure. When George hears that Warwick has solidified his ties to Margaret through marriage between his daughter and Prince Edward, George declares he will marry Warwick's other daughter, and he leaves, followed by Somerset. Richard stays, not for love of Richard, but for the crown, he mutters to himself. Edward asks Hastings and Montague if they are still with him; they reply affirmatively.

Warwick and Oxford arrive on the shores of England, leading French soldiers. George and Somerset join with him, and Warwick is glad. He suggests a plan to capture Edward.

Three watchmen guard Edward's tent. Warwick arrives with George, Oxford, and Somerset, and they attack the tent. Richard and Hastings flee, but Warwick captures Edward. Warwick accuses Edward of being incompetent and unfit to rule, since he doesn't know how to rightly use ambassadors, nor stick to his marriage plan, nor how to treat his brothers in a brotherly fashion or even how to take care of his people's welfare.

Edward, seeing George as part of Warwick's force, knows he must give in. But he assures Warwick that he will still be king though his state falls. Warwick removes Edward's crown and orders Somerset to take Edward to be imprisoned at the home of the Archbishop of York. The troops prepare to march to London and reinstall Henry on the throne.

Commentary

Edward's reign comes to trouble, as he stubbornly insists that being the king makes him correct in all matters. Again, Edward ignores the lesson of Henry, which demonstrated that being king doesn't necessarily mean one's will is obeyed. His brother George and others separate from him to join Warwick's force, and they quickly reverse the command of the kingdom for the second time in this play.

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A weak King and a rising, despicable Gloster

by ReadingShakespeareby450th, June 01, 2013

I finished the King Henry VI trilogy and blogged on Part Three. If you're interested, here's my take:

http://ow.ly/lC5vr

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