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Henry VI, Part Three (Wars of the Roses #7)

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  2,621 Ratings  ·  170 Reviews
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Paperback, 302 pages
Published December 17th 1981 by Penguin Books (first published 1591)
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Barry Pierce
This one doesn't really have a plot, it's more a series of stabbings.
Bill  Kerwin

A thoroughly accomplished piece of playcraft and a significant work of literature, this complex account of civil war is filled with broken oaths, betrayals, and labyrinthine patterns of multi-generational revenge, and Shakespeare gives us a coherent thread of narrative to guide us through the bewildering crowd of incidents.

Also, by the middle of the play, Shakespeare's first great character--Richard of Gloucester (later Richard III)--has fully emerged, giving us a clear promise of the great wor
João Fernandes
Aug 31, 2015 João Fernandes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shakespeare, drama, war
Henry: Get off, that's my chair!
York: No, it's my chair
Henry: Okay, you can have it after I'm done playing with it.
Margaret: How dare you give away my... I mean our son's... I mean your throne!?
Henry: I'm just trying to avoid giving more suffering to our people!
Margaret: Wait, peasants have feelings? Uh, the more you know...
Clifford: Your dad killed my dad, so I'm gonna kill you.
Rutland: Mate, I'm just trying to learn some Latin to read that saucy book from The Name of the Rose.
Clifford: Sh
David Sarkies
Jul 06, 2015 David Sarkies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History buffs
Recommended to David by: University
Shelves: historical
England in Flames
30 August 2012

As I read through this play I began to realise how closely connected it is to Richard III, which is not surprising since this play was written shortly after Henry VI. In many way, much of the action in Richard III, as well as a number of the characters, stem from this play. I remember watching the Ian McKellan version of Richard III and seeing this woman, Margaret, making an appearance and wondering about her connection to the play. After reading this play (as wel
I'm very happy with this play. It's easily up to the standards we're used to in Shakespeare, proper, lifting us out of his early and unsure works into something very entertaining. Some people might disagree, but here's the fact: history was this fucked up.

Some liberties are made to make the play much more streamlined and dramatic, of course, but that's only to be expected when we're putting 30 years into the space of 3 plays. By this point in the action, though, we're steeped in nothing but acti
Sep 06, 2016 Trish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The play begins with Henry VI and his queen being chased away by the victorious Yorkists after the first Battle of St. Albans.
Shakespeare makes a point of (accurately) displaying the original agreement between Henry VI and the Duke of York that Henry can remain king until his death, upon which the House of York (Richard, his son Edward and all his heirs) will reign permanently.
Margaret of Anjou, naturally, does NOT agree since she has given birth to a son and declares war on the Yorkists.

Ahmad Sharabiani
King Henry VI, Part 3 (Wars of the Roses #7), William Shakespeare
May 24, 2010 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This play, also sometimes titled “Richard Duke of York” or “The True Tragedy of Richard Duke of York and the Good King Henry the Sixth,” continues the story of the factions of York and Lancaster during the Wars of the Roses in England in the 15th century. As in the previous play in the series, “2 Henry VI,” King Henry continues to demonstrate a feebleness and lack of resolve that contributes to the encouragement of the kingly aspirations of Richard, who claims the right to the crown on the basis ...more
What follows are the collective observations of the entire trilogy:

1 Henry VI -- 2.5 to 3 stars
2 Henry VI -- 3+ stars
3 Henry VI -- 4 stars

I don't have much to say about part 1 of Shakespeare's Henry VI. It's not a bad play; it's just not the Bard at his best. It has its moments but the impression I carry away from it is that Shakespeare either didn't care all that much about the project or he never found the time to polish it. (Interestingly, it was written several years after parts 2 and 3.)

Clara Biesel
Jun 01, 2016 Clara Biesel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pretty striking anti-war literature, and I had forgotten how strong the writing is in this play. The paper crown, Richard gets his two big monologues, the wooing of Lady Grey, so many people changing sides, and hating each other so vehemently. It's forceful stuff.
Ken Moten
"Duke of York:
The army of the queen hath got the field.
My uncles both are slain in rescuing me;
And all my followers to the eager foe
Turn back and fly like ships before the wind,
Or lambs pursu'd by hunger-starved wolves.
My sons—God knows what hath bechanced them;
But this I know,—they have demean'd themselves
Like men born to renown by life or death.
Three times did Richard make a lane to me,
And thrice cried 'Courage, father! fight it out!'
And full as oft came Edward to my side
With purp
Mar 17, 2013 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full well hath Clifford play'd the orator,
Inferring arguments of mighty force.
But, Clifford, tell me, didst though never hear
That things ill got had ever bad success?
And happy always was it for that son
Whose father for his hoarding went to hell?
I'll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind;
And would my father had left me no more!
For all the rest is held at such a rate
As brings a thousand-fold more care to keep
Than in possession any jot of pleasure.

With these words, Henry defies those who accuse him
Sep 27, 2011 Trevor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
The last of the Henry VI plays in the very long sequence of histories around the war of the roses. It is surprising how few of these eight plays actually are about the king they are named after. I mean, neither of the Henry IV plays are really about him, the play with him as a major character is really Richard II. This play is about chaos more than anything else – nothing is stable, it is hard to know who is on which side. The expression, damned if you do and damned if you don’t came to mind rep ...more
Akemi G
May 20, 2016 Akemi G rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fiction, dramas
Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard;
What other pleasure can the world afford?
I'll make my heaven in a lady's lap,
And deck my body in gay ornaments,
And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks.
O miserable thought! and more unlikely
Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns!

In the longest soliloquy Shakespeare ever wrote, Richard (Gloucester) reveals his ambition for the first time. It's almost an existential question, in which he questions why he was born-- he was born so ugly and defor
Feb 09, 2015 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, shakespeare
The concluding part of William Shakespeare's Wars of the Roses trilogy ends with Edward IV firmly in charge and with about half the cast of the play dead -- but with Richard Crookback in the wings waiting to make his own grab at the crown, which he will do in Richard III.

Henry VI, Part 3 is full of of "alarums and excursions" as the partisans of York and Lancaster find it out to the bitter end. The play is Shakespeare's lesson as to what happens to the kingdom when the king is weak. And Henry VI
Jun 19, 2009 Olivia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite so far in this tetralogy. I found the vigorous seesaw of victories and defeats very compelling, as Henry dwindles to a mild nonentity, Richard of Gloucester hacks his way out of a metaphorical wood and into the spotlight, and many children are butchered along the way. I didn't expect to be so disturbed by the murdered children - in King John I found poor Arthur's death unexpectedly hilarious! - but both scenes, Rutland slaughtered in front of his pleading tudor and Edward tag-team-st ...more
Shakespeare's first history cycle (the three Henry VI plays and Richard III are somewhat dark works and the darkness seems to grow with every play. There are virtuous characters, but no real moral centre. Certainly not the king himself who is kind and decent, but lacks any fibre or backbone to manage the unruly upstarts that he faces.

Nor are the king's enemies any better. York and his sons may claim a greater right to the throne, but they are corrupted by the means which they use to seize and ho
As a person who studied theatre, I have always been slightly embarrassed that there was an entire subset of Shakespearean plays that I had either never read or retained poorly: the English histories. Please accept this selection of reviews as my way of ensuring that none of you will be similarly lacking.

The True Tragedy of Richard Duke of York and Good King Henry the Sixth
The Third Part of Henry the Sixth (Richard = 3 Henry VI = written second)

York: That was awfully sneaky of Henry to sneak o
Jacques Coulardeau
This is the third part, hence the end; of this Henry VI, a weak king that lasted longer than any other on the stage. The last events of his reign are not that important. The fight is to the finish, to the death between the two houses of Lancaster, the King, and York, the contender. The Duke of York is eliminated rather fast and his four sons are the heirs of his vain claim.

First Edward, Earl of March and later King Edward IV, who becomes an in and out and back in king in this play: he is the fli
Jun 24, 2016 Melora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okey doke! Now this is more like it! In Part 3 we get rousing action and great characters! Plus, more dramatic death scenes (I count six, where the person dying gets an exit speech, though there might be more) than you would imagine it was possible to cram into a three hour play.

Spoilers ahead.

Queen Margaret and Gloucester (Richard III) come in neck-and-neck for the title of Most Fiendishly Evil Character. Gloucester is ahead by one murder, but Margaret carries around a napkin soaked in young R
Nov 22, 2015 Kailey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: weighty-classics
I was starting to get bored with the Henrys, but this one revived me a bit. There were some especially rousing speeches, and I didn't completely hate every character.

I feel like every situation and scene was gone through twice. Twice Edward is on the throne and Henry is forced to compromise or flee. Twice Henry is on the throne and Edward is fleeing. Twice they summon all their allies to send soldiers. Twice somebody sends to France for soldiers. Twice Henry is thrown into prison in the Tower,
Perry Whitford
Mar 29, 2016 Perry Whitford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'frowns, words, and threats \
Shall be the war that Henry means to use.—'

King Henry, Act 1, Scene 1

You can't help but admire Henry VI for those sentiments, while at the same time feeling exasperated, even contemptuous. How could a man so completely lacking in ruthlessness retain a crown in medieval England?

The eventual answer, after much toing and froing, was that he couldn't.

Yet at the start of Shakespeare's trilogy about his tempestuous reign, his fortunes are waning, but they are soon on the
Sandra Vega
Aug 03, 2016 Sandra Vega rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teatro, clasicos
Estas obras de teatro de Shakespeare, iniciales, tienen una intencionalidad didáctica o eso parece. Serían el equivalente a las sagas orales de los pueblos antiguos: relatan sucintamente la historia de Inglaterra durante cierto período bastante turbulento.
Los dispositivos dramáticos son primitivos: todo el tiempo salen y entran los personajes al son de clarines o tambores o marchas triunfales y la acción avanza casi cómicamente: en esta escena, estos dos personajes nobles son aliados. En la sigu
Anna Kļaviņa
Apr 08, 2013 Anna Kļaviņa marked it as to-read-ebook  ·  review of another edition
Andrew Scott's brilliant reciting

I have no brother, I am like no brother,
And this word ‘love’, which greybeards call divine,
Be resident in men like one another,
And not in me! I am myself alone

For I have often heard my mother say
I came into the world with my legs forward.
The midwife wonder'd; and the women cried
'O, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth!'

And so I was, which plainly signified
That I should snarl and bite and play the dog.
Then, since
Oct 11, 2015 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
I admit I had to refer to a Kings and Queens 'family' tree before embarking on this one. Everyone seemed to be someone, and everyone wanted to be King or Queen. And lots were/will be (in the 1500s). Considerinh Henry was not supposed to be that great, he certainly got a lot of plays written about him. Newly unearthed and re-buried Richard gets a good look in, and Henry's Queen Margaret would have given Joan of Arc (see Part I) a run for her money in the going-into-battle stakes.
Jun 21, 2010 Candy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
I think what is most interestying with these three plays within a trilogy...are the villains. I also see foreshadowing of Shakespeare's later villains and plots and themes. but overall...they seemed jumbled...but don't get me wrong..I enjoyed reading them.

This third part is fascinating because already we are introduced to Richard III who is a sick sick puppy.
Mar 23, 2013 Eyehavenofilter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: w-shakespeare
Queen Margaret and Richard N. the power couple of the era, rule with unbelievable power. This woman is a force of nature, and Shakespeare's most amazing female lead character. She is strong, willful, yet intelligent enough to rule a nation expertly, with the "Kingmaker" at her side, at a desperate time, a hell of a play.
Mary Foxe
Though Henry VI had his shining moments, the future Richard III stole the show with his gleeful villainy.
Henry VI's! They're like buses. You wait for ages, and then three come by at once.
Jessica Barkl
Well...reading a Shakespeare a day for 37 days is going to be a bit hard...because I can't just read them for pleasure. My epic mind will not let me surpass a word I don't know the etymology to or a piece of geography that I can't just summon up. I (also) really love English genealogy and I can't move past a character I don't know, or can't recall who they're related to and why that is important. Anyway, it is going to be hard to maintain this, but I will attempt it, nonetheless.

The other reaso
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Wars of the Roses (8 books)
  • Richard II
  • King Henry IV, Part 1 (Wars of the Roses, #2)
  • Henry IV, Part 2 (Wars of the Roses, #3)
  • Henry V
  • Henry VI, Part 1
  • King Henry VI, Part 2
  • Richard III

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