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Henry VI Pt 1

Written: c. 1592; Texts: First Folio 1623 (History), no quarto editions
Source: Hall, Edward (1498-1547). The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and York (3rd. ed., 1550); Holinshed, Raphael (c. 1528-c. 1580). The Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland. (2nd ed., 1587)
Characters: King Henry VI, Lord Talbot, Duke of Gloucester, Duke of Bedford, Duke of Exeter, Cardinal, Bishop of Winchester, Duke of Somerset, Richard Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick, Earl of Salisbury, Earl of Suffolk, Edmund Mortimer, Charles, Joan La Pucelle, (also Joan of Arc), Reignier, Duke of Anjou and Maine, King of Naples, Margaret, Duke of Alanson, Bastard of Orleance, Duke of Burgundy
Setting: London and France
Time: c. AD 1422-1431

Henry VI Part 1 is considered one of Shakespeare's earliest plays. Scholars continue to debate how much of it he actually wrote. Since the play was not printed until the publication of the First Folio, there is little evidence on which to make conclusive judgments. Philip Henslowe mentions a performance of what is believed to be Henry VI Pt 1 in his diary in March, 1592. Thomas Nash also mentions its popularity in August, 1592, in his Piers Penniless his Supplication to the Devil. But Francis Meres does not include it in his list of Shakespeare's plays in Palladis Tamia, 1598, perhaps because it was collaboratively written. Modern consensus includes the play in Shakespeare's First Tetralogy, which was written between 1591 and 1595, and comprises, in historical not authorship order, Henry VI Part 1, Henry VI Part 2, Henry VI Part 3, and Richard III.

We mourn in black; why mourn we not in blood?

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Exeter
We mourn in black; why mourn we not in blood?
Henry is dead and never shall revive.
Upon a wooden coffin we attend,
And Death’s dishonorable victory
We with our stately presence glorify,
Like captives bound to a triumphant car.
What? Shall we curse the planets of mishap
That plotted thus our glory’s overthrow?
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Act 1
Scene 1
Line 17

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Is Paris lost? Is Roan yielded up?

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Gloucester
Is Paris lost? Is Roan yielded up?
If Henry were recalled to life again,
These news would cause him once more yield the ghost.
Exeter
How were they lost? What treachery was used?

Awake, awake, English nobility!
Let not sloth dim your honors new begot.

Messenger
No treachery,
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Act 1
Scene 1
Line 66

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Mars his true moving, even as in the heavens

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Charles
Mars his true moving, even as in the heavens
So in the Earth, to this day is not known.
Late did he shine upon the English side;
Now we are victors; upon us he smiles.
What towns of any moment but we have?
At pleasure here we lie, near Orleance.
Otherwhiles, the famished English, like pale ghosts,
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Act 1
Scene 2
Line 1

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Dauphin, I am by birth a shepherd’s daughter

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Joan la Pucelle
Dauphin, I am by birth a shepherd’s daughter,
My wit untrained in any kind of art.
Heaven and Our Lady gracious hath it pleased
To shine on my contemptible estate.
Lo, whilst I waited on my tender lambs,
And to sun’s parching heat displayed my cheeks,
God’s Mother deignèd to appear to me,
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Act 1
Scene 2
Line 73

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Assigned am I to be the English scourge

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Joan la Pucelle
Assigned am I to be the English scourge.
This night the siege assuredly I’ll raise.
Expect Saint Martin’s summer, halcyons’ days,
Since I have enterèd into these wars.

Glory is like a circle in the water,
Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself
Till by broad spreading it disperse to naught

Glory is like a circle in the water,
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Act 1
Scene 2
Line 132

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Talbot, my life, my joy, again returned!

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Salisbury
Talbot, my life, my joy, again returned!
How wert thou handled, being prisoner?
Or by what means gott’st thou to be released?
Discourse, I prithee, on this turret’s top.
Talbot
The Duke of Bedford had a prisoner
Called the brave Lord Ponton de Santrailles;
For him was I exchanged and ransomèd.
But with a baser man-of-arms by far
Once in contempt they would have bartered me,
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Act 1
Scene 4
Line 23

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My lord, my lord, the French have gathered head

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Messenger
My lord, my lord, the French have gathered head.
The Dauphin, with one Joan la Pucelle joined,
A holy prophetess new risen up,
Is come with a great power to raise the siege.
Here Salisbury lifteth himself up and groans.

Pucelle or puzel, dauphin or dogfish,
Your hearts I’ll stamp out with my horse’s heels
And make a quagmire of your mingled brains

Talbot
Hear,
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Act 1
Scene 4
Line 100

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Within the Temple Hall we were too loud

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Suffolk
Within the Temple Hall we were too loud;
The garden here is more convenient.
Plantagenet

Then say at once if I maintained the truth,
Or else was wrangling Somerset in th’ error?
Suffolk
Faith, I have been a truant in the law
And never yet could frame my will to it,
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Act 2
Scene 4
Line 3

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How I am braved, and must perforce endure it!

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Plantagenet
How I am braved, and must perforce endure it!
Warwick
This blot that they object against your house
Shall be whipped out in the next parliament,
Called for the truce of Winchester and Gloucester;
And if thou be not then created York,
I will not live to be accounted Warwick.

And here I prophesy: this brawl today,
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Act 2
Scene 4
Line 116

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Kind keepers of my weak decaying age

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Mortimer
Kind keepers of my weak decaying age,
Let dying Mortimer here rest himself.
Even like a man new-halèd from the rack,
So fare my limbs with long imprisonment;
And these gray locks, the pursuivants of death,
Nestor-like agèd in an age of care,
Argue the end of Edmund Mortimer;
These eyes, like lamps whose wasting oil is spent,
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Act 2
Scene 5
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