Saturday, February 5, 2011

3 Henry 6: Act 1, Scenes 2 and 3


how do the days fly by? i don't understand. this was my supposed 'day off', but i feel like i didn't accomplish anything! i cleaned the apartment, read less Shakespeare than i hoped to, and went to see the lovely Michelle Andino rock the house in Seven Guitars. i feel like i didn't get to relax at all. this was catch-up day and i didn't catch up on anything! i need to figure out how in the heck to get better at this, or i'm not going to make it. we go into tech for Vinegar Tom in a few days, and i'm really going to be in for it if i don't work it out. =0/ i can do it! right? i can do it i can do it i can do it i can...

everything is still super-dramatic in Henry-land. here goes:

act 1, scene 2
   (York, , Edward, and Montague in Yorkshire)
York: what are you 3 fighting about?
Richard: about the crown. and the fact that it belongs to you!
York: not until Henry is dead. i took an oath, remember?
Edward: 'but for a kingdom any oath may be broken.'
Richard: but there was no magistrate there to make the oath lawful! i can't rest until my white rose is made red with Henry's blood.
York: you're right! i must figure out how how to rise to power without raising suspicion.
   (Messenger enters.)
Messenger: Queen Margaret is here with 20,000 men to war with you!
York: i'm not afraid of them. let's split up our forces and make this happen. 'a woman's general. what should we fear?' (see quote below.)

act 1, scene 3
   (on the battlefield before battle. Rutland, York's youngest son, with his tutor.)
Rutland: how can i escape? here comes Clifford!
   (Clifford enters with soldiers.)
Clifford: get out of here, Tutor. you're a priest, so i won't kill you, but i will kill York's son because York killed my father.
Tutor: don't kill him. he is innocent!
   (Tutor is dragged off by soldiers.)
Rutland: i am just a child. take your out your revenge on men, not children.
Clifford: your pleas are in vain. even if all of your brothers were here, and i killed them all, it would not be enough to quench my thirst for revenge.
Rutland: please, just let me pray first. there's no reason for you to kill me.
Clifford: your father killed my father. that's my reason.
   (Clifford stabs Rutland.)
Rutland: i pray this will be the height of your glory and the thing you are known for.
   (Rutland dies.)
Clifford: i'm coming for you, York.

man, just when i was thinking York seemed kind of legit. he changed his mind awfully fast! i mean, he couldn't have wanted to stay true to his pact too much if he about-faced that quickly. i think it's funny that he was swayed by a bunch of kids too. i can't imagine being peer pressured that hard core by my own sons. i wonder if this is going to come back to haunt him. i also wonder how these actions will affect his sons' future choices.

i am also a little concerned for Clifford. i mean, i know his dad was killed, but he is totally consumed by revenge. it's scary! he kills an innocent kid! he doesn't even let him pray first! yikes. i'm wondering too how this will catch up with him. i know Shakespeare is big on revenge. i'm interested to see how, across his work, he treats this idea of revenge and what happens to those who are ruled by it.

it continues to intrigue me that i feel like there is no clear-cut villain. i keep flip-flopping whose side i'm on. what do you guys think about that?

quote of the day:
'five men to twenty! though the odds be great,
i doubt not, uncle, of our victory.
many a battle have i won in France
whenas the enemy hath been ten to one.
why should i not now have the same success?'
     -York; act 1, scene 2

for tomorrow: act 1, scene 4

-rebecca may


  1. Your first paragraph sounds like the song I've been singing the past several months. I keep reminding myself to appreciate my victories and look for the passion in my work and have faith that I can accomplish big things one step at a time. But it's easy to succumb to frustration with myself and lose sight of what matters most to me. Plus, I consistently underestimate how much time it takes me to accomplish things. Sigh!

    Never having read these plays, I do not feel equipped to comment on their design - for example, if there is an intended villain. However, reading your summaries, I keep thinking about television mini-series, night-time soap operas, and reality shows (like
    "Survivor") that are built on competitive alliances. Despite the presence of certain sympathetic characters, most of the entertainment seems to come from watching the conflicted consciences and shifting loyalties and wondering what decision a character will make. I watched every episode of "The Tudors" and can think of only one character I completely disliked. For all of the rest, I feel a mixture of disapproval and understanding. I appreciate that kind of drama.

  2. susan, me too on all accounts! thanks for following and commenting!