Henry VI Part 3

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter King Henry the Sixth and Richard below, with

the Lieutenant of the Tower on the walls


Good day, my lord. What! At your book so hard?


Ay, my good lord – ‘ my lord,’ I should say rather.

'Tis sin to flatter; ‘ good ’ was little better.

‘ Good Gloucester ’ and ‘ good devil ’ were alike,

And both preposterous; therefore, not ‘ good lord.’
preposterous (adj.) 1 contrary to the natural order, monstrous, perverted


Sirrah, leave us to ourselves; we must confer.

Exit Lieutenant


So flies the reckless shepherd from the wolf;
reckless (adj.) negligent, thoughtless, careless

So first the harmless sheep doth yield his fleece,

And next his throat unto the butcher's knife.

What scene of death hath Roscius now to act?


Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind;
suspicion (n.) anxiety, apprehension, trepidation

The thief doth fear each bush an officer.


The bird that hath been limed in a bush,
lime (v.) 1 trap, snare, catch [as if by using birdlime]

With trembling wings misdoubteth every bush;
misdoubt (v.) 1 distrust, suspect, have misgivings about

And I, the hapless male to one sweet bird,
hapless (adj.) luckless, unfortunate, unlucky
male (n.) father, parent, begetter

Have now the fatal object in my eye
fatal (adj.) 3 death-dealing, death-boding

Where my poor young was limed, was caught and killed.
lime (v.) 1 trap, snare, catch [as if by using birdlime]


Why, what a peevish fool was that of Crete,
peevish (adj.) 1 silly, foolish; or: headstrong, impulsive

That taught his son the office of a fowl!
office (n.) 1 task, service, duty, responsibility See Topics: Frequency count

And yet, for all his wings, the fool was drowned.


I, Daedalus; my poor boy, Icarus;

Thy father, Minos, that denied our course;
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count
deny (v.) 3 disallow, forbid, refuse permission [for]

The sun that seared the wings of my sweet boy,

Thy brother Edward, and thyself, the sea

Whose envious gulf did swallow up his life.
envious (adj.) malicious, spiteful, vindictive, full of enmity See Topics: Frequency count
gulf (n.) 1 whirlpool

Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words!

My breast can better brook thy dagger's point
brook (v.) 1 endure, tolerate, put up with

Than can my ears that tragic history.
history (n.) 1 story, tale, narrative

But wherefore dost thou come? Is't for my life?


Thinkest thou I am an executioner?


A persecutor I am sure thou art;

If murdering innocents be executing,

Why, then thou art an executioner.


Thy son I killed for his presumption.


Hadst thou been killed when first thou didst presume,

Thou hadst not lived to kill a son of mine.

And thus I prophesy, that many a thousand,

Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear,
mistrust (v.) suspect the existence of, apprehend, anticipate
parcel (n.) 1 part, piece, portion, bit

And many an old man's sigh, and many a widow's,

And many an orphan's water-standing eye –
water-standing (adj.) flooded with tears

Men for their sons', wives for their husbands',

And orphans for their parents' timeless death –
timeless (adj.) untimely, premature, ill-timed

Shall rue the hour that ever thou wast born.

The owl shrieked at thy birth, an evil sign;

The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time;
abode (v.) predict, forebode, portend

Dogs howled, and hideous tempests shook down trees;

The raven rooked her on the chimney's top,
rook (v.) crouch, cower, squat

And chattering pies in dismal discords sung.
dismal (adj.) 2 sinister, ominous, malign
pie (n.) magpie

Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain,

And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope,

To wit, an indigested and deformed lump,
indigested (adj.) improperly formed, uncompleted
wit, to [legal] that is to say

Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree.

Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou wast born,

To signify thou camest to bite the world;

And if the rest be true which I have heard,

Thou camest –


I'll hear no more; die, prophet, in thy speech!

He stabs him

For this, amongst the rest, was I ordained.


Ay, and for much more slaughter after this.

O, God forgive my sins, and pardon thee!

He dies


What! Will the aspiring blood of Lancaster

Sink in the ground? I thought it would have mounted.

See how my sword weeps for the poor King's death!

O, may such purple tears be alway shed
purple (adj.) bright-red, blood-coloured, bloody

From those that wish the downfall of our house!

If any spark of life be yet remaining,

Down, down to hell; and say I sent thee thither,

(He stabs him again)

I that have neither pity, love, nor fear.

Indeed, 'tis true that Henry told me of;

For I have often heard my mother say

I came into the world with my legs forward.

Had I not reason, think ye, to make haste,

And seek their ruin that usurped our right?
right (n.) 1 just claim, rights, title

The midwife wondered and the women cried
wonder (v.) 1 marvel [at], be astonished [at]

‘ O, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth!’

And so I was, which plainly signified

That I should snarl and bite and play the dog.

Then, since the heavens have shaped my body so,

Let hell make crooked my mind to answer it.
answer (v.) 10 live up to, correspond to, be equal to

I have no brother, I am like no brother;

And this word ‘ love,’ which greybeards call divine,

Be resident in men like one another
like (v.) 4 resemble, look like, take after

And not in me; I am myself alone.

Clarence, beware; thou keepest me from the light.

But I will sort a pitchy day for thee;
pitchy (adj.) pitch-dark, black, inky, dark
sort (v.) 2 choose, find, arrange

For I will buzz abroad such prophecies
abroad (adv.) 1 in the outside world, freely at large, elsewhere, everywhere
buzz (v.) 1 spread, move about, send

That Edward shall be fearful of his life,

And then, to purge his fear, I'll be thy death.
purge (v.) 2 expel, get rid of, flush out

King Henry and the Prince his son are gone;

Clarence, thy turn is next, and then the rest,

Counting myself but bad till I be best.
bad (adj.) worthless, lowly, of no value

I'll throw thy body in another room

And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom.
doom, day of last day of life, death-day
triumph (v.) exult, gloat, glory

Exit with the body

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