Henry VI Part 1: Act 3, Scene 4

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Talbot arrives with his army in Paris, where he is greeted by King Henry VI and his noble followers. The English nobles wear either a red or a white rose to announce their allegiance in the Wars of the Roses.

 
Talbot tells the king of his successes, which include reclaiming fifty fortresses, twelve cities, and seven towns from the French. He has taken five hundred notable prisoners. He ascribes his success to God and his king. Henry VI thanks Talbot and creates him Earl of Shrewsbury as a reward.
 
Everyone exits except for Vernon and Basset, two of Henry VI’s followers who have sided with the Yorkist and Lancastrian causes respectively. They start to quarrel and Vernon strikes Basset. Basset reminds Vernon that fighting has been forbidden, but they vow to meet at some future date and resume their fight.
 
Analysis
 
Talbot’s ascribing his success to God and the king is significant, as it stands in contrast to the repeated suggestion that Joan derives her success from witchcraft, mixed with treachery.
 
Vernon and Basset’s fight marks the introduction into France of the civil dissent that divides England. This bodes ill for the English cause in France. Whereas the French are achieving greater unity under Joan’s command, the English are weakened by division in their ruling class.
 
 

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