Henry VI, Part 3

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(4.6 stars; 17 reviews)

Henry VI, Part 3 or The Third Part of Henry the Sixt (often written as 3 Henry VI) is a history play by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in 1591, and set during the lifetime of King Henry VI of England. Whereas 1 Henry VI deals with the loss of England's French territories and the political machinations leading up to the Wars of the Roses, and 2 Henry VI focuses on the King's inability to quell the bickering of his nobles, and the inevitability of armed conflict, 3 Henry VI deals primarily with the horrors of that conflict, as the once ordered nation is thrown into chaos and barbarism as families break down and moral codes are subverted in the pursuit of revenge and power.

Among Shakespeare's history plays Henry VI Part 3 and Richard II contain the only intances in which a living monarch is displaced. However, unlike Richard who fell because of his misunderstanding of the limits of his sovereignty, the demise of Henry was due to his total incapacity to exercise his sovereign power. The inability of the king to deal with the brutal realities of regal life is dramatically displayed in Act 2 Scene 5 where Henry witnesses the agonies of the father who has killed his son and the son who has killed his father, and sadly acknowledges that this civil strife has been caused by the King's ineptitude. The crowning indignity comes in Act 3 Scene 1 where the king in hiding is easily detected and trapped by two rustics who triumphantly prepare to lead him before the man who has deposed him, Edward IV. Henry's death comes at the hands of the brother of Edward, the vicious and rampantly ambitious Richard, who later rises to the heights of supreme tyranny in Richard III. After Henry's son and heir, Edward, is murdered, also by the future Richard III, and Henry's most influential supporter, the Earl of Warwick, dies, the House of Lancaster lies in ruins.

Henry VI, Part 3 features the longest soliloquy in all of Shakespeare (3.2.124-195), and has more battle scenes (four on stage, one reported) than any other of Shakespeare's plays. (Summary from Wikipedia with addition by Algy Pug)

Bona: ckless1
Duke of Exeter: Andy Minter
Duke of Norfolk: kenrg
Duke of Somerset: Readalot
Earl of Northumberland: Chewbobcca
Earl of Warwick: Algy Pug
Earl of Westmoreland: Denny Sayers
Earl of Oxford: Lars Rolander
Edmund, Earl of Rutland: Nadine Eckert-Boulet
Father who has killed his son: Denny Sayers
First Keeper: Algy Pug
First Messenger: Elizabeth Klett
First Watchman: David Lawrence
George, Duke of Clarence: Jason Mills
Henry VI: Arielle Lipshaw
Huntsman: Algy Pug
King Edward IV: Dale Burgess
King Lewis XI of France: Martin Geeson
Lieutenant: Elizabeth Klett
Lord Rivers: Denny Sayers
Lord Clifford: Aidan Brack
Lord Hastings: Ric F
Marquess of Montague: Nadine Eckert-Boulet
Mayor of York: Denny Sayers
Messenger: Elizabeth Klett
Nobleman: Algy Pug
Post: Roseanne Schmidt
Prince Edward: Corinna Schultz
Queen Elizabeth: Elizabeth Barr
Queen Margaret: Elizabeth Klett
Richard III: Lars Rolander
Richard Plantagenet: David Goldfarb
Second Keeper: ravenotation
Second Messenger: Availle
Second Watchman: Nadine Eckert-Boulet
Sir John Mortimer: Denny Sayers
Soldier: Algy Pug
Son who has killed his father: Amy Gramour
Third Watchman: Lucy Perry
Tutor of Rutland: Algy Pug
Narrator: Sandra G

Audio edited by: Elizabeth Klett and Algy Pug (2 hr 59 min)


Dramatis Personae 3:59 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 1 34:56 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 2 41:25 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 3 34:45 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 4 32:58 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 5 31:30 Read by Denny Sayers (d. 2015)


good play

(4 stars)

the play is pretty good and most of the cast perform well

(5 stars)

A truly epic play about one of the most interesting periods in English history!

(5 stars)

Outstanding very enjoyable thanks to all readers!