Henry VI, Part 1
Henry VI, Part 1, one of William Shakespeare's plays, is an uncompromising celebration of early English nationalism that contrasts the English with the French, portrayed here as effeminate and scheming.
A boy king, Henry VI, is on the English throne, and the indomitable Talbot leads the English cause in France. Joan La Pucelle (Joan of Arc), who becomes captain of the French, claims to be chosen by the Virgin Mary to liberate France. The English, however, consider her a sensual witch.
Many of the English nobility remain, quarreling, at home. Once in France, some seek permission to fight each other there. Talbot and his son cannot prevail; the English defeat themselves by preying on each other.
Henry VI, Part 1 may have been staged in 1592, when a play named Harey the vj was performed several times. It was printed in the 1623 First Folio. Sources include Edward Hall's Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and York.
Productions at the Folger
Hamnet link to Folger Edition: PR2753 .M6 2003 copy 2 v.09
In popular culture
- Adapted from the Folger Library Shakespeare edition, edited by Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. © 2008 Folger Shakespeare Library.