Henry VI Part 2


Writers: William Shakespeare


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Drama, Historical/Biographical
Multiple Settings
Time & Place
Cast Size
Ideal for
professional theatre, university theatre, community theatre, outdoor theatre, College/University, Large Cast, Mostly Male Cast, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, Star Vehicle Male
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, young adult, mature adult, late teen characters


At the end of Henry VI Part 1, Suffolk meets Margaret of Anjou and vows to make her Queen of England. Part 2 begins with the marriage of King Henry VI and Queen Margaret. Little does the King know that Margaret and his Duke of Suffolk are in love and seeking to control the kingdom right under his nose. But first, in order to solidify this plan, they must get rid of all the other people vying for power, beginning with the King’s uncle and protector, Gloucester, Gloucester is a kind and true advisor, but he has many enemies. His wife, Eleanor, is also a problem and sabotages his position through her dream of becoming Queen. Eleanor studies witchcraft and summons a demon to help his cause, which ultimately destroys her, Gloucester, and the Cardinal of Winchester who dies of guilt for his part in Gloucester’s murder. This sequence of events leads to more tragedy and more fighting, as heads are chopped off, commoners rebel (led by a silly but ruthless soldier named Cade), and a war begins for the throne. Henry VI Part 2 ends when the Duke of York, his sons (one of whom becomes Richard III), and his followers, gain ground on the King and get closer to seizing the crown.

Lead Characters

Henry VI Part 2 guide sections