A line-by-line translation

Henry VI, Part 1

Henry VI, Part 1 Translation Table of Contents

Henry VI, Part 1 is the first part of Shakespeare’s trilogy on the Wars of the Roses with his play. This history play picks up the story after Henry V’s death and the accession of his son Henry VI to the throne. With our Shakescleare modern English translation of Henry VI, Part 1, you can get to know the key characters in this series of plays surrounding one of England’s bloodiest internal conflicts--from the young King Henry VI and his ward Gloucester to Richard Plantagenet (the Duke of York), Henry’s rival for the throne. You can also easily decipher some of the play’s most important quotes, like “No, no, I am but shadow of myself” and “Good Lord, what madness rules in brainsick men.”

Act 1, Scene 1

Henry V's funeral takes place. News about war in France arrives, concerning the warrior Talbot, before help arrives.

Act 1, Scene 2

The Bastard of Orleans introduces the dauphin Charles to Joan la Pucelle, who promises to defeat the English.

Act 1, Scene 3

Winchester brings Gloucester to enter the Tower. Their conflict is parted by the Lord Mayor.

Act 1, Scene 4

In France, Talbot is released in exchange for a French lord. He tells of his experience as a captive.

Act 1, Scene 5

The French attack and Talbot and Joan fight. She wins but spares him.

Act 1, Scene 6

The French celebrate their victory over Orleans. Charles praises Joan.

Act 2, Scene 1

Talbot and the English lords launch a surprise attack to re-take the city. Charles tells Joan she has betrayed him.

Act 2, Scene 2

The English bury their dead lords. A Messenger summons Talbot to the Countess of Auvergne, who has heard of his fame.

Act 2, Scene 3

Talbot goes to the Countess' castle and she tells him he has walked into a trap. His army comes to rescue him.

Act 2, Scene 4

In the garden, Richard Plantagenet picks up a white rose for York, while Somerset takes the red one for Lancaster.

Act 2, Scene 5

Richard visits his uncle, Mortimer, in prison, who tells him of his rightful claim to the English throne.

Act 3, Scene 1

Gloucester and Winchester argue. Henry VI asks them to be friends and makes Richard Duke of York.

Act 3, Scene 2

Joan dominates the battle, but Talbot's army attack and win, though Bedford is killed.

Act 3, Scene 3

Joan passionately persuades Burdgundy to come back to the French side, to strengthen their forces.

Act 3, Scene 4

Henry arrives in France and is greeted by Talbot. Vernon and Basset, members of the houses of York and Lancaster argue.

Act 4, Scene 1

Henry is crowned. He is surprised about the conflict between the two houses.

Act 4, Scene 2

Talbot marches on Bordeaux. He becomes trapped between the city walls and Charles's army.

Act 4, Scene 3

As a result of the conflict between York and Somerset, neither send more men to help Talbot.

Act 4, Scene 4

Sir William Lucy tells Somerset that thanks to him, Talbot has been betrayed by the English, who didn't send help.

Act 4, Scene 5

Talbot begs his son, John, not to fight against the French, but he doesn't listen.

Act 4, Scene 6

John and Talbot both fight together. John saves his father.

Act 4, Scene 7

Talbot finds out his son was killed. Talbot dies. Lucy asks the French for their bodies, promising revenge.

Act 5, Scene 1

Gloucester plans a marriage for Henry to enforce the peace between England and France. Winchester is made Cardinal.

Act 5, Scene 2

The French army is preparing to fight an unexpected division of the English army.

Act 5, Scene 3

Joan summons her demons to help her fight. Meanwhile, a lovestruck Suffolk woos Margaret to be Henry's queen.

Act 5, Scene 4

Joan is captured and burned alive. Peace is established between England and France.

Act 5, Scene 5

Suffolk returns to England and persuades Henry, against opposition from the court, to marry Margaret and make her Queen.
Nina romancikova
About the Translator: Nina Romancikova

Nina Romancikova is from Slovakia but her love of literature and theater has brought her to the UK and she has been living and studying there for the past six years. She graduated with a degree in English Literature and Language at University of Glasgow in 2016. Nina is now finishing her Masters in Shakespeare Studies at King's College London and is currently working as a Research Intern at Shakespeare's Globe.