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MonkeyNotes-King Henry VI, Part 3 by William Shakespeare
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Act V, Scene 1

The scene is set in Coventry. Enter the Mayor of Coventry, two
messengers and others. Warwick inquires about the posts that came
from Oxford and Montague and learns that they are late in
gathering troops. Sir John Somerville enters and they exchange
wishes and soon the sound of drums is heard. Thinking it is
Clarence, Warwick looks out and sees that it is Edward, Richard
and soldiers.

Meanwhile, Oxford, Montague, Somerset and George enter with
their troops and drums. George takes his red rose and throws it at
Warwick, telling Warwick that he is not that harsh and unnatural
enough to defy his brother and his lawful King. He apologizes for
the trespass he made and proclaims himself the enemy of
Warwick. King Edward pardons and welcomes him as does
Richard. Warwick challenges them to a fight and Edward agrees to
it. They proceed to the field and Edward prays to Saint George for


The events here actually end in a compromise so that no fighting
takes place. These events are linked by Shakespeare to the
upcoming battle of Barnet at the conclusion of the scene. The
wavering of Clarence is the most important point to be stressed in
this scene as is the revelation that the Lancasters are sorely
unprepared for their encounter and therefore vulnerable.

At Coventry Warwick comes face to face with Edward and
Richard and is told about Henry's capture from them. He had left
poor Henry at the Bishop's palace. Now Warwick has full
command and acts with insubordinance towards Edward. When
Richard asks Warwick to kneel down he says,

'I had rather chop this hand off at a bow
And with the other fling it any they face,
Than bear so low a sail to strike to thee'

That shows the scorn, hatred, revenge and determination of
Warwick. Edward mocks him and says the wind changing nature
of Warwick can change no more because his head is going to be
cut off. Although Warwick has changed loyalties, it is not as acute
as Edward and Richard's brother George, who seemed to do it in a
fitful rage rather than shrewdness.

George's wavering attitude is exposed in his speech to Warwick.
Though he apologizes for the trespass he made, he realizes that he
must side with family. His behavior portrays him as a deceitful
inconstant and unashamed man who sways from one side to the
other, depending on who is in power. He blames Warwick on his
change of mind yet this is not lost on the brothers who welcome
him back but will also not trust him.

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MonkeyNotes-King Henry VI, Part 3 by William Shakespeare

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