By William Shakespeare
Touring the UK and playing at the Globe
King Henry VI
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
Duke of Suffolk / Jack Cade
Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester
Charles the Dauphin / Richard
Young Clifford / Duke of Somerset
Duke of Bedford / Duke of Burgundy / Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March / Dick the Butcher
John Talbot / Edmund, Earl of Rutland
Edward, Earl of March (later King Edward IV)
Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York / Lewis XI, King of France
Reignier, Duke of Anjou / George, Duke of Clarence
Joan of Arc / Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester / Lady Grey
Earl of Warwick / Lord Talbot
The plays which make up Shakespeare’s Henry VI create a world without ideology; a savage time, when the heroes are not kings, but formidable women, such as Joan of Arc, or rebels, such as Jack Cade.
Bold characterisation, black comedy, rhetorical power and, in the personality of Henry VI, touching pathos combine in Shakespeare’s powerful rendering of a country racked by civil war.
Shakespeare almost certainly did not set out to write a trilogy. Each play can be enjoyed without knowledge of the others.