Study Guide

Henry VI Part 3 Act 3, Scene 1

By William Shakespeare

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Act 3, Scene 1

Read the full text of Henry VI Part 3 Act 3 Scene 1 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • Two gamekeepers enter with crossbows in their hands. They're talking about hunting deer when suddenly, they hear a noise.
  • It's King Henry in disguise, with a prayer book. He tells us that he's escaped and run off to Scotland.
  • One of the gamekeepers thinks they should pounce while they have the chance. The other wants to hear what Henry has to say before they attack him. Who knows who he is or why he's here, right? Maybe they can find out by listening.
  • Henry talks about what's happening with the rest of the gang. Margaret's gone off to France to ask them to help her cause, but Warwick has gone there, as well, because he wants a French wife for Edward. Henry is worried that the French king will take Warwick up on his offer of marriage.
  • The gamekeepers come face to face with Henry and ask him why he's talking about kings and queens so much. From the way he's talking, it kind of seems like he was once a king himself. Why is that?
  • Henry says that he is a king. The gamekeepers ask him where his crown is; he says it's in his heart and mind.
  • The gamekeepers tell Henry that they think he's the king their real king—Edward—deposed, so they're gonna have to arrest him. After all, they've sworn an oath to their rightful king, Edward.
  • Henry's like, "Didn't you swear an oath to me? I'm your rightful king."
  • The gamekeepers tell Henry that they only had an oath to serve him as long as he was king, and he's not anymore. Sorry.
  • Henry thinks they are "simple" and don't understand the importance of oaths and kingship, but he lets them take him away, nonetheless.

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