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Henry VI, Part 3 continues the War of the Roses saga where Part 2 left off.  The forces of the house of Lancaster, nominally led by Henry VI, have been defeated by the forces of Plantagenet, led by Richard, Duke of York.  York pursues Henry and Queen Margaret to London, where he forces the king to adopt him as heir.  Henry will be allowed to rule for the duration of his life.  After that the regal power will pass to Richard and his sons.  Needless to say, Henry’s wife and son are less than thrilled.

What follows is a series of battles between the two sides, with each faction trading victories.  Richard is killed in battle and his title passes to his eldest son Edward, who assumes the titles of both king and Duke of York.  Together with his brothers, he continues the struggle against Henry and the forces of Lancaster.  After several vacillations of fortune, the Plantagenets emerge victorious.  Henry is killed and Edward appears secure on the throne.

I loved this play.  Shakespeare is a master of portraying political intrigue.  The various motivations that drive the actions of every character are expertly presented.  These motivations set the stage perfectly for the final part of the tetralogy.  I look forward to finishing the saga with Richard III.

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