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MonkeyNotes-Henry VI, Part 1 by William Shakespeare

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Act IV, Scene I

Summary

Henry VI is crowned King of England and France. Fastolfe
arrives with a message from Burgundy. He is disgraced and
banished by the King for his cowardly desertion of the English
forces at the battle of Patay. The king hears of Burgundy’s
change of heart and charges Talbot with the task of winning
him back to the English side. Vernon and Basset enter, asking
permission to fight. At the king’s order they place their
grievance before him. The king commands both Somerset and
York to make peace between them. He creates York, his regent
in France and tells Somerset to join forces with the former
against their French foes. Exeter doesn’t place much faith in
the peace that has been concluded and sees only trouble ahead.

Notes

The young Henry VI is made King of England and France. But
even as his coronation is being conducted, Fastolfe arrives with
bad tidings of Burgundy’s desertion. The young king’s troubles
are compounded by the knowledge of the friction that exists
between York and Somerset. He tries to establish peace
between the two noblemen. His appeal to them is intelligent
and pathetic at the same time. He sees the danger of internal
dissension and at the same time feels quite powerless to control
it. His reference "my tender years" underlines the fact that he is
but a child, faced with troubles that require a strong,
experienced hand.

Although overt peace is established between York and
Somerset, things are not as they seem. York’s dialogue with
Warwick reveals that he suspects the King of favoring
Somerset. Exeter picks up these undercurrents and fears the
future. His words foreshadow the grim future ahead for the
English.

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MonkeyNotes-Henry VI, Part 1 by William Shakespeare
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