Shakespeare Reading Series
Henry VI, Part 2
The Duke of Suffolk's statement in Henry VI, Part 2 "for that is good deceit which mates him first that first intends deceit" is perhaps the quintescence of the play - or in other words: Watch your back!
The Duke of Glouchester, who is the brother of Henry V, is true and faithful to King Henry VI, but Queen Margaret, the Duke of Suffolk, and Cardinal Henry Beaufort, and others scheme against him. Glouchester, who had been warned by his wife Eleanor, finally senses the conspiracy and gives a warning of his own to the plotters that others will die, too. His words are quite prophetic in this play of plots, conspiracy, and ambition.
Meanwhile, Jack Cade is leading a rebellion against the upper class including those who can read and write. One of Cade's associates, Dick the Butcher, advises, "the first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers".
With all the turmoil, can Henry VI keep his crown?
Some good references for the play are:
Text of the play
SparkNotes summary of the play
Britannia.com - Henry VI
Shakespeare timeline - 1599: The Great Globe
The reign of Henry VI
See paintings of Henry VI
Henry VI (1983)
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Last updated: 11/24/2016