Henry VI, Part 2

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King Henry VI Part 2 is a history play by William Shakespeare, originally known as The First Part of the Contention betwixt the Two Famous Houses of York and Lancaster. It was probably written ca. 1590-91 as the second part of the trilogy on Henry VI of England and is often grouped together with Richard III as a tetralogy on The Wars of the Roses, the success of which established Shakespeare's reputation as a playwright.

Act I

  • Main chance.
    • Warwick, scene i

  • Could I come near your beauty with my nails,
    I’d set my ten commandments in your face.
    • Duchess of Gloucester, scene iii


  • Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep.
    • Suffolk, scene i

  • What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted!
    Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just;
    And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel,
    Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.
    • King Henry, scene ii

  • He dies, and makes no sign.
    • King Henry, scene iii

  • Close up his eyes, and draw the curtain close;
    And let us all to meditation.
    • King Henry, scene iii

Act IV

  • The gaudy, blabbing, and remorseful day
    Is crept into the bosom of the sea.
    • Captain, scene i

  • There shall be in England seven halfpenny loaves sold for a penny: the three-hooped pots shall have ten hoops; and I will make it felony, to drink small beer.
    • Jack Cade, scene ii

  • The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
    • Dick the butcher, scene ii

  • Is not this a lamentable thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should be made parchment? that parchment, being scribbled o’er, should undo a man?
    • Jack Cade, scene ii

  • Sir, he made a chimney in my father’s house, and the bricks are alive at this day to testify it.
    • Smith the weaver, scene ii

  • Thou hast most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm in erecting a grammar-school; and whereas, before, our forefathers had no other books but the score and the tally, thou hast caused printing to be used; and, contrary to the king, his crown, and dignity, thou hast built a paper-mill.
    • Jack Cade, scene vii

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