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Henry VI Part 3

William Shakespeare

Act IV, Scenes v-vii

Act IV, Scenes i-iv

Act IV, Scenes viii-x

Summary

Lady Gray and her brother Rivers enter the palace. Lady Gray reveals that Edward has been taken prisoner. Rivers hopes that Warwick may let lose, and Lady Gray tries not to mourn, deciding to be strong now that she is pregnant. She urges Rivers and others of Edward's supporters to flee, while she goes to sanctuary to protect the true heir to the crown.

Richard and Hastings arrive near the Archbishop of York's property. Richard says he knows where Edward is imprisoned and that he is allowed out to hunt at times. He has gotten word to Edward to direct him to hunt in a particular place, so they can rescue him. Edward arrives, meets his brothers, and they set off.

Warwick and George enter the Tower with the crown. Henry enters with Oxford, Somerset, Montague, and the young Henry, Earl of Richmond. Henry speaks well of the man who guarded him in prison and thanks Warwick for setting him free. Henry intends hereafter to live out of the public eye, so the people will not be punished for his bad luck. Henry says that he will continue to wear the crown, but he resigns the government to Warwick. Warwick says George should receive this honor, so Henry pronounces them both Protectors of England, while he lives a private life. George and Warwick agree to work together to fill Henry's place in government and to secure the succession of Prince Edward.

Henry sees Somerset with a young man, his nephew, the Earl of Richmond. Impressed by the boy, Henry prophesizes that the boy will provide peace for England; he seems made for the crown.

A messenger arrives with news that Edward has escaped and fled across the Channel to Burgundy. The lords leave to deal with governmental matters, and Oxford and Somerset comment that Burgundy will probably aid Edward, and there will be more wars soon. Somerset plans to send Richmond to Brittany for safety in the meantime.

Commentary

These action-filled scenes progress the plot through Henry's return to the throne and the second rise of Edward. Henry's encounter with Richmond provides a vision of the future, for Richmond will be the future Henry VII, the founder of the Tudor dynasty. He will bring the War of the Roses to an end when he defeats Richard, then Richard III, on the field of battle, as depicted in Richard III .

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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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