Tuesday, February 8, 2011

3 Henry 6: Act 2, Scenes 2-4


woohoo! what a day! i had 3 classes, did my homework, finished my Shakespeare early, and had a crazy rehearsal. tonight was our first rehearsal for Vinegar Tom in the theater, and the set is amazing!!! we open in 9 days. ah! i was just thinking about how amazing it is to go from page to stage. reading Vinegar Tom for the first time, it seemed so problematic to me. there's so many locations and the scenes are so short. and now, through a true collaboration, we have this brilliant set designed by our brilliant Benson Knight that i can't even believe! all things are possible through art. and every once in awhile, you get a reminder of that. and it feels pretty darn good. that being said, i would like to reiterate that i am interested in hearing about other people's productions of these plays! how does Shakespeare move from page to stage? have you done or seen or heard about productions of the plays we are reading? if so, DO TELL!

on to the crazy adventures of the Yorks and Lancasters:

act 2, scene 2
   (Henry, Queen Margaret, etc arrive at the gates of York.)
Margaret: there is York's head. doesn't that cheer you up, Henry?
Henry: it irks my soul to see that.
Clifford: my king, you must lay aside your pity. you have a wonderful son and you have disinherited him. you seem as though you don't love him. even stupid beasts love and protect their children. for shame. look at him!
Henry: don't you know 'that things ill got had ever bad success?' (see quote below.)
   (Henry knights his son, Prince Edward. Messenger enters.)
Messenger: Warwick is coming with 30,000 men, proclaiming Edward Duke of York as our king!
Clifford: Henry, you should leave. Margaret works best when you're gone.
Henry: i'm staying.
Northumberland: then you should fight.
   (Warwick, Edward, Richard, and co. enter)
Edward: i am the real king. kneel before me!
Richard: Clifford, you killed Rutland?
Clifford: yep. and your father. and i'm still not satisfied.
Richard: for God's sake, let's fight right now.
Margaret: hey Warwick. last time i saw you, you were running from me. fleeing!
Warwick: that was my turn to fly. this is yours.
Henry: enough of this. let me speak.
Margaret: speak against them or be quiet.
Henry: i am the king. i can speak whatever and whenever i please.
Edward: will you make me king or not?
Warwick: if you don't, we will fight and innocent blood will be on your hands.
Edward: Henry's father was a worthy man, and maybe Henry could be if he didn't take a beggar woman as a wife.
George: we will never leave until we take you down.

act 2, scene 3
   (Warwick runs in.)
Warwick: i must rest!
   (Edward [York] and George enter.)
George: everything is falling apart. should we flee?
Edward: no way!
   (Richard enters.)
Richard: Warwick, have you quit again? your half-brother, Salisbury, died in battle. his last request was that you avenge his death!
Warwick: let's fight! we will all probably die in this battle, but i vow to God not to quit! i will kill my own horse to prevent myself from fleeing!
Edward: and i vow the same.
George: let's get our troops together.

act 2, scene 4
   (Richard and Clifford meet.)
Richard: i've got you now. this arm is for my father, and this one is for my brother. i will use them to kill you.
Clifford: this is the hand that killed your father, and this is the one that killed your brother. i will use them to kill you!
   (they fight. Warwick enters. Clifford runs off.)
Richard: find some other prey, Warwick. Clifford is mine.

with everyone avenging everyone else's deaths... no one is going to be left by the end of the play! it's nuts!

it's official. as of today, i love Henry. i love this quote of the day. i feel like his moral compass is so much stronger than anyone else's. and then later he kind of stands up to Margaret when he tells her he's the king so he can talk whenever he wants. go Henry! of course, then he doesn't follow through with it, but maybe he's taking baby steps? maybe? i hope?

ooh i also found out in my lovely footnotes today that the Yorks nicknamed Clifford 'the butcher' because of his cruel murders. nice. Richard or Clifford? Clifford or Edward? Warwick or Clifford? who will it be? i feel like Clifford has to die in this play, but who will do it? and who will he take down along the way?

quote of the day:
'but, Clifford, tell me, didst thou 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 thousandfold more care to keep
than in possession any jot of pleasure.
ah, cousin York, would thy best friends did know
how it doth grieve me that thy head is here!'
   -Henry; act 2, scene 2

for tomorrow: act 2, scenes 5 and 6

-rebecca may of the house of Lancaster


  1. I love you, and I'm so proud of you for keeping up with this!

  2. We are putting this play up in a total of 35 rehearsal hours right now. Got through Act 2.2 in our first day. They pley flies (we cut it) and the characters are just so much fun to play. The stakes are so high. It's like a runaway train.

  3. Wow, this is awesome! You definitely qualify for the Shakespeare Challenge and I look forward to reading some of your older posts about the play I just finished.

  4. "...for all the rest is held at such a rate
    as brings a thousandfold more care to keep
    than in possession any jot of pleasure." Love that!

    Isn't Margaret cute? Like a cat bestowing a dead rodent on her person's doorstep, thinking she pleases Henry with the spectacle of York's head.