Henry VI, Part III

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Henry VI, Part III
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In the wake of the Yorkist victory at St. Albans, York now has the crown of England. Henry arranges for a parley and presents an offer to York: Henry will rule England until his death, with ascension at that time passing to the house of York. York agrees, but this infuriates Queen Margaret; the Prince of Wales, her son, will be the next king. At Sandal Castle, Margaret leads an army that defeats the Yorkists, killing the Duke of York and his youngest boy, Rutland. A rally by the Yorkists, however, leads to Margaret and Henry fleeing to France and Scotland, respectively. Edward, eldest son of York, assumes the title of King of England.

Henry secretly returns to England, where he is captured by Edward and put in the Tower of London. Margaret, meanwhile, is petitioning the King of France to come to Henry's aid. However, Warwick enters the scene trying to broker a marriage between Edward and the King's sister-in-law, Bona, and the King temporarily lends his allegiance to Edward—only to revoke it when word comes that Edward has hastily wed a woman he fancies, Lady Grey. Warwick, also affronted by the betrayal of his mission, joins forces with Margaret as well.

Meanwhile, back in England, further dissension is sown between the York brothers. Richard seeks the throne for himself, and George, Duke of Clarence, is disgruntled with his own lot. Clarence ends up defecting to Margaret's side with Warwick and the French forces. Warwick, however, manages to capture Edward before the major combat begins, thus temporarily restoring Henry to the throne. But Richard rescues Edward and gathers a force to meet Warwick. Clarence rejoins his brothers as well, and at Barnet and Tewkesbury, Warwick is defeated and slain by Edward. Though the French troops attempt to rally, Margaret and the Prince of Wales are captured; the sons of York slay the Prince, but Edward grants mercy to Margaret.

Anticipating Edward's further mercy to Henry, Richard pays a visit to the Tower of London, where Henry is held as prisoner. When Henry foretells Richard's bloody future, Richard kills him. Edward now holds the throne as King Edward IV, but Richard yet plots his own means to usurp the crown for himself.

Dramatis Personae:

  • King Henry the Sixth
  • Edward, Prince of Wales, his son
  • Lewis the Eleventh, King of France
  • Duke of Somerset
  • Duke of Exeter
  • Earl of Oxford
  • Earl of Northumberland
  • Earl of Westmoreland
  • Lord Clifford
  • Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York
  • Edward, Earl of March, afterwards King Edward the Fourth
  • Edmund, Earl of Rutland
  • George, Duke of Clarence
  • Richard, Duke of Gloucester
  • Duke of Norfolk
  • Marquess of Montague
  • Earl of Warwick
  • Earl of Pembroke
  • Lord Hastings
  • Lord Stafford
  • Sir John Mortimer
  • Sir Hugh Mortimer
  • Henry, Earl of Richmond
  • Earl Rivers
  • Sir William Stanley
  • Sir John Montgomery
  • Sir John Somerville
  • Tutor to Rutland
  • Mayor of York
  • Lieutenant of the Tower
  • A Nobleman
  • Two Keepers
  • A Huntsman
  • A Son, who has killed his father
  • A Father, who has killed his son
  • Queen Margaret
  • Lady Grey, afterwards Queen to Edward the Fourth
  • Bona
  • Soldiers and other Attendants, Messengers, Watchmen
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