Henry VI, Part Three In Plain and Simple English (Digital Download)
A Harrowing Dive into the Heart of War and Ambition

Shakespeare's vast tapestry of historical dramas comes to a thrilling climax in "Henry VI, Part III." This legendary piece offers more than a simple recounting of events – it unveils the raw human emotions and devastating consequences of ambition unleashed. While the earlier parts detail the precursors and political intrigue that led to the Wars of the Roses, this installment throws us into the eye of the storm.

In "1 Henry VI," we observed the erosion of England's grip on its French territories, coupled with the rise of political maneuverings that set the stage for internal warfare. "2 Henry VI" magnified the tensions, highlighting a beleaguered king's struggles against his own warring nobles and the inevitable slide towards armed hostilities. But it is in "3 Henry VI" where the brutal truth of war reveals itself in all its savage glory. The very fabric of the nation frays as loyalties are betrayed, families torn asunder, and the age-old codes of honor and morality are overshadowed by vengeance and the insatiable hunger for power.

Yet, Shakespeare's intricate web of words can sometimes be daunting for modern readers. If the Bard's language has ever felt impenetrable or distant, you're certainly not alone.

Fear not, for BookCaps has crafted a solution: a meticulously modern translation of "Henry VI, Part III." While retaining the gravitas and intensity of Shakespeare's original work, this version illuminates the narrative, making it not only accessible but also deeply engaging for today's readers.

Embark on a gripping journey through a nation in turmoil, as Shakespeare's "Henry VI, Part III" is reborn for a new generation, with the classic text and its contemporary counterpart side by side. Experience the unparalleled drama as never before.






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Act I

SCENE I.  London. The Parliament-house


MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and Soldiers.]


I wonder how the king escap'd our hands.

I'm amazed the King managed to escape us.


While we pursued the horsemen of the North,

He slyly stole away and left his men,

Whereat the great Lord of Northumberland,

Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat,

Cheer'd up the drooping army; and himself,

Lord Clifford, and Lord Stafford, all abreast,

Charg'd our main battle's front, and breaking in,

Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.

While we were chasing the horsemen from the North,

he slyly sneaked off and left his men,

and then the great Lord of Northumberland,

who would never hear any talk of retreat,

roused the flagging army; and he,

Lord Clifford and Lord Stafford, all together,

charged our front line, broke through it,

and were killed by the swords of the common soldiers.


Lord Stafford's father, Duke of Buckingham,

Is either slain or wounded dangerously;

I cleft his beaver with a downright blow.

That this is true, father, behold his blood.

Lord Stafford's father, Duke of Buckingham,

has either been killed or badly wounded;

I split his helmet with a smashing blow.

Father, you can see his blood as evidence.

[Showing his bloody sword.]


And, brother, here 's the Earl of Wiltshire's blood,

[To York, showing his.]

Whom I encounter'd as the battles join'd.

And, brother, here's the blood of the Earl of Wiltshire,

whom I met just as the armies clashed.


Speak thou for me, and tell them what I did.

You can speak for me, and tell them what I did.

[Throwing down the Duke of Somerset's head.]


Richard hath best deserv'd of all my sons.--

But is your grace dead, my Lord of Somerset?

Richard has done best of all my sons–

but are you really dead, my Lord of Somerset?


Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt!

This is what will happen to all of John of Gaunt's descendants!


Thus do I hope to shake King Henry's head.

I hope to be able to treat King Henry's head like this.


And so do I.--Victorious Prince of York,

Before I see thee seated in that throne

Which now the house of Lancaster usurps,

I vow by heaven these eyes shall never close.

This is the palace of the fearful king,

And this the regal seat; possess it, York,

For this is thine, and not King Henry's heirs'.

And so do I. Victorious Prince of York,

I swear to God I shall never rest

before I see you seated on the throne

which the house of Lancaster has now vacated.

This is the palace of the worried King,

and this is his royal throne; take it, York,

for it belongs to you, not to the heirs of King Henry.


Assist me, then, sweet Warwick, and I will;

For hither we have broken in by force.

Help me, then, sweet Warwick, and I will;

for we broke in here by force.


We'll all assist you; he that flies shall die.

We'll all help you; anyone who runs away will die.


Thanks, gentle Norfolk.--Stay by me, my lords;--

And, soldiers, stay and lodge by me this night.

Thanks, kind Norfolk. Stay with me, my lords;

and, soldiers, you stay around me all night.


And when the king comes, offer him no violence,

Unless he seek to thrust you out perforce.

And when the King comes, don't be violent to him,

unless he tries to throw you out by force.

[They retire.]


The queen this day here holds her parliament,

But little thinks we shall be of her council.

By words or blows here let us win our right.

The Queen is holding her parliament here today,

but she doesn't suspect that we'll be at the meeting.

Let's get our rights here, either by words or by fighting.


Arm'd as we are, let 's stay within this house.

As we are armed, let's stay inside this house.


The bloody parliament shall this be call'd,

Unless Plantagenet, Duke of York, be king,

And bashful Henry depos'd, whose cowardice

Hath made us bywords to our enemies.

This will be called the bloody Parliament,

unless Plantagenet, Duke of York, is  made King

and the weakling Henry is deposed, he whose cowardice

is proverbial amongst our enemies.


Then leave me not, my lords; be resolute.

I mean to take possession of my right.

Then stand by me, my lords; be strong.

I intend to take what's mine.


Neither the king, nor he that loves him best,

The proudest he that holds up Lancaster,

Dares stir a wing if Warwick shake his bells.

I'll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares.--

Resolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown.

Neither the King, nor any of those who love him most,

the most proud bearer of the flag of Lancaster,

dares make a move if Warwick threatens him.

I'll establish the Plantagenets, and nobody dare stop me–

be strong, Richard; claim the English crown.

[Warwick leads York to the throne, who seats himself.]


WESTMORELAND, EXETER, and the rest.]


My lords, look where the sturdy rebel sits,

Even in the chair of state! belike he means,

Back'd by the power of Warwick, that false peer,

To aspire unto the crown and reign as king.--

Earl of Northumberland, he slew thy father;

And thine, Lord Clifford; and you both have vow'd revenge

On him, his sons, his favourites, and his friends.

My Lords, look where the rough rebel is sitting,

right there on the throne! I expect he intends

with the help of Warwick, that false peer,

to take the crown and rule as king.

Earl of Northumberland, he killed your father;

and yours, Lord Clifford; and you have both sworn to take revenge

on him, his sons, his favourites and his friends.


If I be not, heavens be reveng'd on me!

If I don't, may the heavens take revenge on me!


The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in steel.

Hoping to do that is why Clifford is wearing armour as his mourning clothes.


What! shall we suffer this? let 's pluck him down;

My heart for anger burns; I cannot brook it.

What! Shall we put up with this? Let's pull him down;

my heart is burning with anger; I can't stand it.


Be patient, gentle Earl of Westmoreland.

Calm yourself, gentle Earl of Westmoreland.


Patience is for poltroons, such as he;

He durst not sit there had your father liv'd.

My gracious lord, here in the parliament

Let us assail the family of York.

Patience is for cowards like him;

he wouldn't dare sit there if your father was alive.

My gracious lord, here in Parliament,

give me permission to attack the house of York.


Well hast thou spoken, cousin; be it so.

You're speaking rightly, cousin; let this happen.


Ah, know you not the city favours them,

And they have troops of soldiers at their beck?

Ah, don't you know how the city prefers them,

and how they have many soldiers within call?


But when the duke is slain, they'll quickly fly.

They'll run off quick enough when the Duke is killed.


Far be the thought of this from Henry's heart,

To make a shambles of the parliament-house!

Cousin of Exeter, frowns, words, and threats

Shall be the war that Henry means to use.--

[They advance to the duke.]

Thou factious Duke of York, descend my throne,

And kneel for grace and mercy at my feet;

I am thy sovereign.

I'm not entertaining the notion of

making a slaughterhouse of the Parliament!

My cousin Exeter, frowns, words and threats

are the weapons that Henry will use.


You rebellious Duke of York, get off my throne,

and beg for grace and mercy at my feet;

I am your ruler.


I am thine.

I am yours.


For shame, come down; he made thee Duke of York.

Get down, for shame; he created you Duke of York.


'T was my inheritance, as thy earldom was.

That was my inheritance, like your earldom.
Translation missing: en.general.search.loading