Henry VI, Part 2 | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Henry VI, Part 2 | Scene Summaries

See Scene Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • 1444

    England concludes a truce with France.

    Act 1, Scene 1
  • Soon afterward

    Margaret of Anjou is crowned queen of England.

    Act 1, Scene 1
  • At the same time

    York reveals his plan to seize the throne.

    Act 1, Scene 1
  • Not long after

    The Duchess of Gloucester confers with spirits and is arrested.

    Act 1, Scene 4
  • Within days

    The Duchess of Gloucester is banished for witchcraft.

    Act 2, Scene 3
  • Soon afterward

    Gloucester resigns as Lord Protector.

    Act 2, Scene 3
  • 1446

    Henry convenes a parliament at Bury St. Edmunds.

    Act 3, Scene 1
  • That very day

    Gloucester is arrested for treason by Suffolk and the cardinal.

    Act 3, Scene 1
  • Moments later

    York is appointed to quash a rebellion in Ireland.

    Act 3, Scene 1
  • During the night

    Gloucester is assassinated at Suffolk's instigation.

    Act 3, Scene 2
  • 1450

    Jack Cade leads an uprising against King Henry.

    Act 4, Scene 2
  • As the rebellion ends

    York returns from Ireland, bringing an army.

    Act 4, Scene 9
  • When negotiations fail

    York attempts to claim the crown for himself.

    Act 5, Scene 1
  • 1455

    The Wars of the Roses open with the Battle of Saint Albans; York's forces defeat King Henry's.

    Act 5, Scene 2
  • After the battle

    King Henry and his supporters flee for London.

    Act 5, Scene 3

Scene Summaries Chart

Scene Summary
Act 1, Scene 1 The play begins at the palace in London, where Henry is formally welcoming his bride Queen Margaret, to England. He is a... Read More
Act 1, Scene 2 Back at the Gloucester residence, the Duchess of Gloucester (Eleanor, or "Nell" to her friends) asks her husband why he ... Read More
Act 1, Scene 3 The scene returns to the palace in London. A group of petitioners are waiting for Gloucester so they can present their r... Read More
Act 1, Scene 4 In the garden of the Gloucester residence, the witch Marjery Jourdain and the conjurer Bolingbroke are preparing a ritua... Read More
Act 2, Scene 1 Meanwhile at Saint Albans, King Henry and Queen Margaret are enjoying a short vacation. They have just returned from a h... Read More
Act 2, Scene 2 At his house in London, York has just finished dining with the earls of Salisbury and Warwick. He requests their opinion... Read More
Act 2, Scene 3 King Henry and his retinue have returned to London and are now presiding over the trial of the duchess and her co-conspi... Read More
Act 2, Scene 4 On a street in London, Gloucester and his attendants await the duchess, who has endured three days of penance prior to h... Read More
Act 3, Scene 1 King Henry has convened a parliament at Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk. He enters with Queen Margaret at his side; Suffolk,... Read More
Act 3, Scene 2 At Bury St. Edmunds, the parliament is still underway. Two murderers rush onstage and, meeting with Suffolk, inform him ... Read More
Act 3, Scene 3 King Henry enters the Cardinal's bedchamber, accompanied by Salisbury and Warwick. The Cardinal is distraught and does n... Read More
Act 4, Scene 1 Off the coast of Kent, Suffolk and some English gentlemen have been captured by pirates while attempting to sail for Fra... Read More
Act 4, Scene 2 On Blackheath a field southeast of London, a Kentish ex-soldier named Jack Cade is amassing rebels against the Crown. Tw... Read More
Act 4, Scene 3 The scene shifts to another part of Blackheath. A battle ensues between the Staffords' army and Jack Cade's followers, w... Read More
Act 4, Scene 4 Now that the rebels have won their first major battle, things are looking pretty grim at the palace in London. King Henr... Read More
Act 4, Scene 5 Lord Scales, another of the king's supporters, is standing atop the Tower of London and directing the defense of the cit... Read More
Act 4, Scene 6 Jack Cade and his rebels have arrived in Cannon Street, the site of the famous London Stone. Cade strikes the stone with... Read More
Act 4, Scene 7 Jack Cade and company continue their march through London, pillaging and burning as they go. Intoxicated by his victorie... Read More
Act 4, Scene 8 Jack Cade continues to lead the march through London, urging his men to slaughter all who oppose them. Lord Clifford ent... Read More
Act 4, Scene 9 Meanwhile at Killingworth (i.e., Kenilworth) Castle, King Henry is reflecting on the evils of kingship. "Was never subje... Read More
Act 4, Scene 10 Jack Cade has fled back to his home county of Kent, but things are not going so well for the former rebel leader. The bo... Read More
Act 5, Scene 1 Buckingham meets York in a field southeast of London and demands to know why he has raised an army against King Henry. Y... Read More
Act 5, Scene 2 The battle between Yorkists and Lancastrians has begun. In the town of Saint Albans, York kills Clifford in single comba... Read More
Act 5, Scene 3 The Yorkists have won the Battle of Saint Albans and are now regrouping after the fight. First onstage are York, his son... Read More
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