A line-by-line translation

Henry VI, Part 2

Henry VI, Part 2 Translation Table of Contents

Against the backdrop of King Henry VI’s marriage to Margaret of Anjou, and the impending loss of lands won by England in France during Henry V’s campaign, courtiers plot the King’s downfall. Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, thinks he has the right to rule England. The pressure of York’s army prompts Henry to go into hiding, as all-out war for the throne looms large. The Shakescleare modern English translation of Henry VI, Part 2 allows you to track the rise and fall of prominent nobles and the conflict for the throne. You can also better understand some of the play’s most notable lines, including “Can we outrun the heavens?”

Act 1, Scene 1

The lords oppose Henry's marriage with Margaret. The other nobles plot against Gloucester. York plans to get the crown.

Act 1, Scene 2

Eleanor tells Gloucester about her dream to get the crown; he disapproves. She pays Hume to summon magicians.

Act 1, Scene 3

Petitioners claim York is the true heir, for which they are punished by Henry. Margaret wants Gloucester to resign.

Act 1, Scene 4

Hume and others summon a spirit for the Duchess to predict the king's death. They are arrested by York and Buckingham.

Act 2, Scene 1

A man tries to fool the King by pretending to be blind and crippled. Gloucester learns about Eleanor's arrest.

Act 2, Scene 2

York justifies his claim to the English crown to Warwick and Salisbury. They are convinced and declare loyalty to him.

Act 2, Scene 3

Eleanor is banished; Gloucester forced to resign his protectorship. Horner and Peter fight a duel; Horner loses.

Act 2, Scene 4

Eleanor carries out her public penance and is sent away. Gloucester is called for an unexpected meeting at court.

Act 3, Scene 1

Margaret and the lords arrest Humphrey for treason and plan his murder. Rebellion is brewing in Ireland.

Act 3, Scene 2

Humphrey's murder is discovered. After an appeal from commoners, Henry banishes Suffolk for killing Humphrey.

Act 3, Scene 3

The King, Salisbury and Warwick visit the dying Cardinal, who is tortured by his part in Gloucester's death. He dies.

Act 4, Scene 1

Suffolk and others are captured by pirates. The captain accuses him of crimes against England. Suffolk is killed.

Act 4, Scene 2

A commoner, Jack Cade, believes he should be king. He organizes a rebellion against the king's army.

Act 4, Scene 3

Cade wins the fight and rewards Dick the Butcher for his services. They march towards London.

Act 4, Scene 4

Margaret laments Suffolk's death, carrying his head. As Cade nears London, King Henry decides to run from the city.

Act 4, Scene 5

The citizens ask Scales for help at the Tower, as Cade's rebels enter the city.

Act 4, Scene 6

Cade establishes his rule and proclaims himself Lord Mortimer. His army goes to fight the king's at Smithfield.

Act 4, Scene 7

Lord Say pleads for his life; Cade has him killed anyway. They put heads on spikes and march.

Act 4, Scene 8

Clifford and Buckingham offer the king's pardon to the commoners and convince them to abandon Cade. He runs away.

Act 4, Scene 9

Henry pardons Cade's rebels. There is news that Duke of York and his Irish army are marching towards the king.

Act 4, Scene 10

Cade sneaks into a garden owned by a gentleman, Iden, to steal some food. They fight and Cade is killed.

Act 5, Scene 1

York returns from Ireland. Angered by seeing Somerset free, he prepares to fight against King Henry.

Act 5, Scene 2

York kills Clifford; Young Clifford swears to take revenge. Margaret urges Henry to run for safety.

Act 5, Scene 3

York wins the battle and looks for Salisbury. They decide to go hastily to London to meet Henry there.
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.