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MonkeyNotes-Henry VI, Part 1 by William Shakespeare

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Act V, Scene I


The King accepts the offer to marry the Earl of Armagnacís
daughter to establish peace between France and England. The
Earl is a close relative of the Dauphin. The King requests
Winchester, who is now a Cardinal to draw the conditions of
peace. He sends his future bride a token of his affection
through Gloucester. Winchester is bent on destroying
Gloucester at all cost.


The war between the two nations has brought misery to both
sides. Its continuation means losses to both sides irrespective of
who wins. Peace is the only way to settle the matter. The
perfect way of attaining this peace is through a politically
engineered marriage between Henry VI and the daughter of the
Earl of Armagnac, who is a close relative of the Dauphin. The
focus of the whole play is on the war between the two countries
and the acceptance of Henry VI to this political marriage points
the way towards the end of this war. Although the young King
has certain misgivings about being married so young he is
willing to play his part if it benefits his nation.

Winchester has finally succeeded in becoming a cardinal and
Exeter fears the consequence of the former gaining such power.
His fears are well founded as is revealed in Winchesterís
soliloquy at the end of the scene. His foremost concern is his
self-glorification and the destruction of his personal enemy
Gloucester. So much so that he is even ready to destroy the
stability of the nation to achieve his purpose. His words, "sack
this country with a mutiny" are grimly prophetic.

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MonkeyNotes-Henry VI, Part 1 by William Shakespeare

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