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Act IV, Scene 6
The scene takes place in the Tower of London. King Henry,
George, Warwick, Somerset, Young Richmond, Oxford, Montague
and Lieutenant of the Tower there. King Henry has been freed
from the Tower and asks the lieutenant in charge who he is loyal
to. The lieutenant apologizes for his actions and the King says that
he has no need to ask his forgiveness because he has kindly treated
him during the time of imprisonment. His imprisonment has been a
pleasure and he forgot the loss of freedom just as caged birds do.
Henry thanks God and Warwick for setting him free, and he
requests Warwick not to punish the people of his land again by
encouraging wars. He resigns the government to Warwick and says
the latter is fortunate in all his deeds. Warwick praises the king's
wisdom and virtue and requests the king to choose Clarence in his
George disagrees and says that Warwick is best suited for the post.
Warwick selects Clarence as his protector. King Henry holds the
hands of Warwick and Clarence in union and says that he is
making them the Protectors of this land while he will lead a private
life in devotion and spend his latter days in the praise of God and
rebuke his sins. Both Warwick and Clarence agree to this proposal
and assure Henry that together they shall bear the weight of the
government while the king can enjoy the honor and his ease.
Warwick asks Clarence to proclaim Edward a traitor and conquer
all his lands. The King asks them to bring the Queen and his son to
him and only then will he be truly happy.
Henry then notices young Henry, Earl of Richmond and in the
manner of a prophecy says that this lad will prove the bliss of their
country. His looks are full of peaceful majesty, his head is suited to
wear the crown, his hand to hold the scepter. A post comes and
delivers the news that Edward has escaped to Burgundy. A
messenger conveys the news that Richard and Hastings had abetted
his escape. Henry becomes concerned about the safety of young
Richmond and decides to send him to Brittany until the atmosphere
calms. They go out.
The scene takes place in the Tower of London with Henry
thanking the Lieutenant of the Tower for his kindness and good
behavior shown towards him during the time of imprisonment. He
says it made his imprisonment a pleasure and he forgot the loss of
liberty. Henry further thanks God and Warwick, who were
responsible for his success. He resigns his government to Warwick
whom he says is fortunate in all his deeds. This reveals Henry's
eschewing of all responsibility of running a kingdom in order to
retreat from life. This can be seen as either revealing his cowardice
or his need for spiritual fulfillment. His inability to face serious
matters and to govern the country has caused all these civil wars
and he is attempting to right his wrongs by signing over his power
to Warwick and Clarence.
As soon as he has the power, Warwick pronounces Edward a
traitor and captures all his lands, yet Henry is distracted by the
sight of a young lad with Somerset who is the Earl of Richmond.
He prophesies that the lad will be the bliss of the country.
Richmond was the son of Katherine, widow of Henry V and her
second husband Owen Tudor. With this prophecy comes a sign of
hope for the future for Henry will become Henry VII who will
bring peace to England.
When the messenger delivers the news that Edward has escaped to
Burgundy, Somerset is quick enough to perceive what is going to
happen next. He says that Burgundy will yield him help and they
shall have more wars in future. His concern for the safety of young
Richmond forces him to escape to Brittany where they will take
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