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 King Henry VI Part 3 Study Guide (Choose to Continue)

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King Henry VI part 3: Character Profiles

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Lady Bona 
Lady Bona is the sister of the French queen.  Warwick goes to France to negotiate her marriage to King Edward, without knowing that Edward has secretly married another woman. 
 
George, afterwards Duke of Clarence
George is one of the four sons of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York. He is made Duke of Clarence after his brother Edward ascends the throne. In the shifting alliances that follow, Clarence at one point allies himself with Warwick rather than his own brother, because Edward did not provide him with a suitable wife. However, after Warwick appears to renege on a promise to install Clarence as the heir to the throne, Clarence switches sides again, and is forgiven by his brothers Edward and Richard. Following the Battle of Tewksbury, Clarence helps to kill the captured Prince Edward. 
 
Lord Clifford
Lord Clifford is the same character as Young Clifford in Henry VI, part 2, where he participated in the first battle of St. Albans and carried off the dead body of his father. He is a supporter of King Henry. In this play, he is motivated by revenge. He wants to be revenged on anyone who had anything to do with killing his father. He kills the boy Rutland because Rutland’s father, the Duke of York, killed Clifford’s father. He also kills the Duke of York after York has been captured. These deeds earn him the nickname, “Bloody Clifford,” and Richard, son of the Duke of York, longs to kill him. Clifford is killed at the Battle of Towton.
 
Edmund, Earl of Rutland
Edmund, Earl of Rutland, is the youngest son of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York. He is only a boy when he is murdered by the vengeful Clifford. 
 
Prince Edward 
Prince Edward is the Prince of Wales, the son of King Henry VI. He is young and does not play much part in the action until later in the play. However, he is an important figure because when Henry names the Duke of York as his heir, he disinherits his son, which outrages the queen, his mother. After Warwick restores Henry to the crown, he offers Prince Edward the hand of his eldest daughter in marriage Just before the battle of Tewksbury, Prince Edward, who is by then seventeen years old, speaks bravely and inspires his men. Prince Edward is captured in this battle and stabbed to death King Edward, Gloucester, and Clarence. 
 
Edward, Earl of March, afterwards King Edward IV 
Edward is the eldest son of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York.  He fights in the battle of Wakefield in which is father is captured and killed. He thus becomes Duke of York (at the age of eighteen), and with the help of Warwick he continues the house of York’s quest for the crown. He is victorious at the Battle of Towton, and is crowned King Edward IV. But he soon makes a misstep that costs him Warwick’s support. He marries a commoner, Lady Grey, while Warwick is negotiating a marriage between Edward with Lady Bona that would create an alliance between England and France. Insulted, Warwick becomes his enemy and takes him prisoner. Deposed as king, Edward escapes with the help of his brothers and once again seeks the crown. He defeats Warwick with the help of foreign troops at the Battle of Barnet and then defeats Queen Margaret’s forces at the Battle of Tewksbury. He thus proves himself an able military leader, and having eliminated all the opposition he is free to enjoy his reign as king.  
 
Duke of Exeter 
The Duke of Exeter is a supporter of King Henry, apart from one moment in Act 1, scene 1, when he appears to doubt the validity of Henry’s right to the throne. He is captured at the battle of Tewksbury and sent off to prison. 
 
A Father that Has Killed his Son
The unnamed father is a soldier in the battle of Towton, who mistakenly kills his son in the confusion of the battle. His grief when he discovers what he has done is witnessed by Henry VI.  
 
Richard, Duke of Gloucester
Richard is one of the four sons of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York. He is made Duke of Gloucester after his brother, Edward IV, ascends the throne. Richard is an aggressive, ambitious man. He urges his father to break his oath to Henry and seize the crown, and he performs well in battle.  After his father’s death he vows revenge and urges his brother to seek the crown.  After Edward is crowned king, Gloucester conceives a long-term plan to get the crown for himself. He will do whatever it takes, including murder and deceit. Along with his two brothers he stabs Prince Edward to death, and he also murders Henry VI who is imprisoned in the Tower. 
 
Lady Grey 
Lady Grey is the widow of Sir John Gray, whose lands have been confiscated. She seeks redress through King Edward IV, but instead of just restoring her lands, he decides to marry her. She becomes queen, which alienates Warwick, leading to his rebellion. 
 
Lord Hastings
Lord Hastings is a supporter of Edward IV, even though he is related to the Earl of Warwick. 
 
Henry, Earl of Richmond
Henry, Earl of Richmond, is the future Henry VII who when he comes to the throne puts an end to the Wars of the Roses and unites the two houses of York and Lancaster. However, in this play Henry is still a boy, and he is sent to Brittany to keep him safe. 
 
King Henry VI
King Henry VI is the son of Henry V. He inherited the crown when he was nine months old but he has never been a strong ruler. In his reign, England lost the territories it had gained in France under Henry VI’s father, and that caused dissension in England among the great lords who rule in his name. Henry is not a man who is suited to be in charge of a government. He lacks good political instincts and he is always perceived as weak. His wife Margaret plays a stronger role than he does. He is a religious, pious man who would have been better off becoming a monk where he could have spent his days in devotion to God, which is what he likes to do. In this play, Henry agrees to make the Duke of York  his heir as long as the Duke allows  him to reign peacefully during his lifetime. But this does not happen, and Henry is overthrown by York’s son Edward, who becomes Edward IV. Henry is briefly restored to the throne by Warwick, but then Warwick is defeated and Henry is imprisoned again. He is killed by Richard, Duke of Gloucester. 
 
King Lewes XI
King Lewes XI, also spelled Lewis and Louis, is the king of France. In Act 3, he receives both Margaret, who needs his aid to restore Henry to the throne, and Warwick, who wants to negotiate the marriage of Lady Bona, the king’s sister, to Edward IV. The king agrees to allow the marriage but then changes his mind when he hears that Edward has secretly married someone else. This enrages him, and he decides to support Margaret instead. 
 
Queen Margaret 
Queen Margaret is the wife of Henry VI. She is a Frenchwoman, the historical Margaret of Anjou. Margaret is a strong-willed, powerful, and cruel woman who dominates her weak husband. After the Duke of York is captured, she taunts him and places a paper crown on his head before he is killed. When Henry is overthrown, Margaret goes to France to secure aid. She returns with an army but is defeated at the Battle of Tewksbury. She is then imprisoned in the Tower. 
 
Mayor of York
The Mayor of York is a supporter of King Henry, but he opens the city gates to York when York denies he is seeking the crown. 
 
Marquess of Montague
The Marquess of Montague is the brother of Warwick. Initially, he supports the Yorkist cause, but then follows his brother when Warwick switches his support to King Henry. Montague is killed at the Battle of Barnet. 
 
Sir John Montgomery 
Sir John Montgomery is a strong supporter of Edward after he is deposed as king. He urges Edward to claim the crown, and he fights with Edward at the Battle of Barnet. 
 
Sir John Mortimer
Sir John Mortimer is an uncle of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York. He is killed along with his brother at the Battle of Wakefield. 
 
Sir Hugh Mortimer
Sir John Mortimer is an uncle of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York. He is killed along with his brother at the Battle of Wakefield. 
 
Duke of Norfolk
The Duke of Norfolk is a supporter of Warwick and Henry VI. He fights at the Battle of Towton. 
 
Earl of Northumberland
The Earl of Northumberland is a supporter of King Henry and the Lancastrian cause. He is killed at the Battle of Towton. 
 
Earl of Oxford 
The Earl of Oxford is a supporter of King Henry and the Lancastrian cause. He is captured at the Battle of Tewksbury and imprisoned. 
 
Lord Rivers 
Lord Rivers is the brother of  Lady Grey.
 
Duke of Somerset
The Duke of Somerset is a supporter of King Henry and the Lancastrian cause. He has good cause to be, since his father was killed by the Yorkists at the first battle of St. Albans (depicted in Henry VI, part 2). He is captured at the Battle of Tewksbury and sent off for execution. 
 
Sir John Somerville
Sir John Somerville is a supporter of the Yorkists. 
 
A Son that Has Killed his Father 
The unnamed son is a soldier in the battle of Towton, who mistakenly kills his father in battle. His dismay and grief when he discovers what he has done is witnessed by Henry VI.  
 
Lord Stafford 
Lord Stafford is a supporter of the Yorkist cause.  
 
Sir William Stanley 
Sir William Stanley is a supporter of the Yorkist cause.  
 
Earl of Warwick
The Earl of Warwick is the most powerful of England’s nobles, known to history as the “kingmaker.” At first he is a supporter of York, and he helps Edward IV win the crown. But then he quarrels with Edward over Edward’s marriage to Lady Grey and resolves to bring the king down. He has initial success, capturing Edward and imprisoning him and temporarily restoring Henry VI to the throne. But Edward soon escapes and challenges Warwick, and Warwick is killed at the Battle of Barnet. 
 
Earl of Westmoreland
The Earl of Westmoreland is a supporter of the Lancastrian cause.  
 
Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York 
Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York regards himself as the rightful heir to the English throne. He has spent much of the previous play, Henry VI, part 2, plotting to achieve his goal, and when Henry VI part 3 begins, he is in a strong position, having won the Battle of St. Albans. He forces Henry to name him as his heir. In return, York promises to allow Henry to reign in peace. However, persuaded by his sons, he breaks his promise and rebels against the king. York’s army is defeated at the Battle of Wakefield, and York is captured and taunted by Clifford and Queen Margaret, who places a paper crown on his head. York is then killed, and his severed head is displayed on the city’s gate. York’s son, however, goes on to secure the crown for himself. 
 
 
 
 



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