Home
Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Shakespeare's Works
• The Plays
Henry VI, Part 1

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

Henry VI, Part 1



Fight till the last gasp.
Act 1, scene 2, line 130

She's beautiful, and therefore to be wooed;
She is a woman, therefore to be won.

Act 5, scene 3, lines 78–79

Henry VI, Part 1 is an uncompromising celebration of early English nationalism that contrasts the English with the French, portrayed here as effeminate and scheming.

A boy king, Henry VI, is on the English throne, and the indomitable Talbot leads the English cause in France. Joan La Pucelle (Joan of Arc), who becomes captain of the French, claims to be chosen by the Virgin Mary to liberate France. The English, however, consider her a sensual witch.

Many of the English nobility remain, quarreling, at home. Once in France, some seek permission to fight each other there. Talbot and his son cannot prevail; the English defeat themselves by preying on each other.

Henry VI, Part 1 may have been staged in 1592, when a play named Harey the vj was performed several times. It was printed in the 1623 First Folio. Sources include Edward Hall's Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and York.

Adapted from the Folger Library Shakespeare edition, edited by Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. © 2008 Folger Shakespeare Library

-----------------------

Further reading
Stuart Hampton-Reeves and Carol Chillington Rutter. The Henry VI Plays. Shakespeare in Performance series. New York: Palgrave, 2006.

Jean E. Howard and Phyllis Rackin. Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare’s English Histories. New York: Routledge, 1997.

Nina S. Levine. Women's Matters: Politics, Gender, and Nation in Shakespeare's Early History Plays. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1998.

John Julius Norwich. Shakespeare’s Kings: The Great Plays and the History of England in the Middle Ages, 1337-1485. New York: Scribner, 1999.

Thomas Pendleton, ed. Henry VI: Critical Essays. New York: Routledge, 2001.

Peter Saccio. Shakespeare's English Kings: History, Chronicle, and Drama. 2nd edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.
 
H. Cook after E.H. Corbould. Joan of Arc fighting the English (Henry VI Part 1). Engraving, 1837



Alexandre Bida. The death of Lord Talbot and his son, John (Henry VI Part 1 act 4, scene 7). Watercolor, 19th century



Inside the Collection

Henry VI, Part 1: Folios from the Collection



Bookmark and Share   
 
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
RSS   
 
  Address:
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »

Federal Tax ID #04-2103542
    Hours:
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
    Phone:
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623