Study Guide

Prince Edward in Henry VI Part 3

By William Shakespeare

Prince Edward

Margaret and Henry VI's son, Prince Edward is the reason Margaret fights so hard against York (or at least the reason she gives). When Henry shakes on a deal that cuts the young prince out of his throne time, Margaret flips out. Prince Edward's surprised, too, and he decides join forces with his mother, even when she leads the troops to war.

In the final battle, Margaret delivers a rousing speech to the troops. When she's finished, it's Prince Edward's turn. He tells the men that if anyone is afraid, he should just go ahead and get outta there before he infects the minds of everyone else. That seems pretty courageous for a youngster—so courageous, in fact, that Oxford is impressed that there are "women and children of so high a courage, / and warriors faint?" (5.4.50-51).

Prince Edward doesn't stop there. When the battle is lost and he's captured, he still fights for his right to the crown. He tells Edward, "thou usurpest my father's right and mine" (5.5.37). He's got guts to spare. Too bad Edward and his brothers spill them all over the floor right after he says that.

Yeah. It's dangerous to be a king's son in this play.

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