Henry VI, Part Two by William Shakespeare
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
The events leading up to the Wars of the Roses are complicated and had many historical actors playing a part. William Shakespeare had to write a dramatic play upon those events with those actors in an entertaining way, overall he succeed more than he failed. Shakespeare portrays Henry VI as a pious man, but feeble king that overshadowed by more powerful magnates. The Duke of York is an ambitious man who wants the crown, but wants to create the right situation for himself. Powerful men like Duke Humphrey, Suffolk, and Somerset are undermined by each other and others to create a cycle of misgovernment that York hopes to use. Then there is Jack Cade’s Kentish rebellion that storms London causing havoc.
The political backstabbing and conspiracies were an effective way to move the action, however the reason for the need of Somerset’s arrest wasn’t very clear compared to Humphrey’s and Suffolk’s. Overall the play enjoyable and entertaining.