curiouser and curiouser. here's what's up in act 3:
King Henry VI is in England with Winchester, Gloucester, and their respective posses. they are still fighting of course. they argue for a few pages and Henry begs them not to. not gonna lie, there's some great dialogue in there. my favorite is when Gloucester calls Winchester a "saucy priest". HA. then we find out that the masses outside are in a civil brawl over the dispute between W and G. the fight is getting out of hand, and everyone's lives may soon be in danger. a decision has to be made STAT. eventually, Gloucester gives in to save Henry and the lives of the people involved in the fight. this is how you know he's the good guy. Winchester is being a jerk and won't even shake Gloucester's hand until Henry rebukes him. (see quote of the day below.) afterward, Henry restores Richard to his hereditary right. (Somerset is not happy.) then Henry is off to France to try to re-gain the crown. Exeter explains to us about the prohecy saying that Henry VI will eventually lose France.
in scene 2, we are back in France, before the gates of Rouen, not Orleans this time. Joan and the Frenchies get tricky and gain access into the town. they storm and gain control of Rouen. Talbot and Joan speak some fierce words to each other. Talbot vows to get back at them. Talbot dares them to come out and fight but they don't. LAME. then Falstaff comes in for 4 hot lines. i thought he was long-gone, but apparently he is back just to leave again. then the English fight. again. and gain control of Rouen. again. Bedford dies. Talbot and the English celebrate.
okay, so at the beginning of the play it seems like Henry VI is a baby. at the time he finally appears in the play, according to history, he is 5. there's no way that many years have taken place. also in the play, he talks and acts like an adult. nice. anyone care to explain?
also, i learned from the footnotes that Bedford, who dies in act 3, scene 2 actually outlived Joan of Arc by four years. in fact, the events in this scene did not happen for another 18 years. this probably explains why it feels so completely ridiculous that they are in another battle. another one! no wait... another two!!! there have been SO many.
this play, while enjoyable, feels a little clunky. there is so much going on so fast. it just doesn't have the flow i'm used to in the Shakespeare i've read. am i crazy? am i imagining it? i look forward to seeing how this compares to further histories in particular.
thanks for reading!
quote of the day:
'fie, uncle Beaufort! i have heard you preach
that malice was a great and grievous sin;
and will not you maintain the thing you teach,
but prove a chief offender in the same?'
-Henry VI; act 3, scene 1
for tomorrow: the end of act 3 and act 4, scenes 1 and 2