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Act IV, Scene 8
The scene is the Bishop's palace in London where King Henry,
Warwick, Montague, George, Oxford and Exete gather. Warwick
announces that Edward has gathered troops from all over who are
marching towards London. He plans to gather troops from his own
region as well as those of the other supporters of King Henry. King
Henry bids him farewell addressing him as his Hector and Troy's
true hope and then discusses with Exeter the causes of his seeming
unpopularity. Henry says that his gentleness has made him famous
and that he cannot understand why people do not love him.
Meanwhile, King Edward enters the palace with Richard and
soldiers, they seize Henry and Edward orders him to the Tower. He
also orders them to capture Warwick who is in Coventry when the
time is favorable.
The scene takes place in the Bishop's palace in London and
precedes a meeting of the rival forces at Coventry where no
fighting will occur. The capture of Henry is the main action
leading to the climax of the play.
Warwick informs of the approach of the rival forces and prepares
for war from all quarters. He says,
'Like to his island girt in with the ocean
Or modest Dian circled with her nymphs
Shall rest in London till we come to him.'
This allusion refers to Ovid's description of the modest Dian who
was circled and protected by her nymphs and reveals that London
too will be protected by Warwick and his companions. At the time
of departure, Henry bids him good-bye and addresses Warwick
thus 'Farewell, my Hector and my Troy's true hope.'
At the time of departure, Henry bids him good bye and addresses
Warwick thus 'Farewell, my Hector and my Troy's true hope.'
Hector was the great warrior of Troy who was killed by Achilles
and dragged around the walls of Troy to the dismay of his family.
Henry's trust and admiration for Warwick makes him laud him
thus. He compares Warwick to Hector and England to Troy. Just as
Hector keeps up the name of Troy, he hopes Warwick will keep up
the honor of England, whose honor has been lost due to repeated
civil wars and internal dissension.
A discussion with Exeter has Henry wondering why people love
Edward more than him when he has never wronged them in any
way. He had been always gentle mild, considerate, compassionate,
and not desiring power and money, yet in most of Shakespeare's
plays this is not what the masses want. Instead, they want
leadership, someone who will take control and provide them with a
central authority. Henry has not been able to do this; therefore, his
popularity as a king is diminished.
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