shakespeare-henry vi

henry vi

THE SURPRISING THINGS. I enjoyed these three plays much more than I thought I would, and they were easier to read than I thought they would be.

NOT SURPRISING BUT WORTH NOTING. Each one was better than the previous one.

FAVORITE LINES from each play:

Glory is like a circle in the water,
Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself
Till by broad spreading it disperse to naught.
–Part One, Act 1, scene 2, lines 136-138.

Be that thou hop’st to be, or what thou art.
–Part Two, Act 3, sc. 1, line 336.

I hear, yet say not much, but think the more.
–Part Three, Act 4, sc. 1, line 85.

PLAYS ON WORDS. I enjoyed reading Shakespeare in high school, but I had forgotten how much he loved plays on words.

From Part One (Act 3, Scene 2, line 10):

Our sacks will be a mean to sack the city.

From Part Two (Act 1, scene 1, lines 218-219):

Unto the main? O father, Maine is lost!
That Maine which by main force Warwick did win

From Part Three (Act 1, scene 1, lines 122-23):

Were shame enough to shame thee, wert thou not


From Part One (Act 4, Scene 5, lines 48-49):

No more can I be severed from your side
Than can yourself yourself in twain divide.

From Part Two (Act 1, scene 2, lines 270-271):

And force perforce I’ll make him yield the crown,
Whose bookish rule hath pulled fair England down.

From Part Three (Act 5, scene 2, lines 28-29):

Why, what is pomp, rule, reign, but earth and dust?
And live we how we can, yet die we must.

LINES I RECOGNIZED: None in Parts One or Three. But in Part Two, there’s,

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” (Act 4, sc 2, line75)

INTERESTING LANGUAGE ALERT from Part Three, Act 3, sc 3, line 165:

Proud setter-up and puller-down of kings!

10 thoughts on “shakespeare-henry vi

  1. You’re an inspiration, Cynthia! Good to know this about these histories. And what this must do to the language center in the brain! How long do you anticipate it will take you to read every play? I love the plays on words section. These are incredible.


    • Thank you, Dave. As far as how long, I’m thinking 18 months–roughly two plays a month–so that I can read other things as well. But I’m behind that mark at the moment–life!


  2. I tell you, Cynthia, it is amazingly beautiful use of the english language—period! I adore plays on words and since I haven’t read Shakespeare since high school (yes, I sadly gave up my recent attempt as soon it began—my brain and life are too full and chaotic to allow for it 😦 ), I am not as fully aware of the man’s actual words as I’d like to be.

    THIS is hilarious! lol: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” (Act 4, sc 2, line75)

    And I’m so proud/impressed by you moving forward with your Shakespeare goals! 🙂


  3. Oh dear, Maine is lost! I wonder if it would be more enjoyable reading the history plays. I got a bit tired of watching sword play on stage, but the language, as you’ve shown, can be beautiful. The kill all the lawyers line was directed at the audience seated on stage – the lawyers were wealthy enough to avoid the best seats back in the day too. Shakespeare was indeed the man of the people. I’ll be seeing 12th Night on Broadway tomorrow with Stephen Fry and an all male cast.


  4. How inspiring—I am going to look into sitting in my esteemed colleague’s Shakespeare class next semester now. Thank you, Cynthia.


  5. Pingback: shakespeare update: one year, part I | catching days

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