Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
King Henry VI
King Henry VI, a simple, peace-loving, and almost saintly monarch. He becomes the pawn of his queen and his powerful noblemen. Although he is aware of their evil, he remains incapable of action against them.
Margaret of Anjou
Margaret of Anjou, his strong-minded, articulate queen. She despises Henry for his weakness and allies herself with the duke of Suffolk to become, in effect, the ruler of England.
William de la Pole
William de la Pole, the earl of Suffolk, her lover. A staunch Lancastrian, he tries to govern the kingdom through his influence over the queen.
Humphrey, the duke of Gloucester, the Lord Protector, a violent, uncontrollable foe of Cardinal Beaufort.
Henry Beaufort, the cardinal of Winchester, his power-hungry uncle and bitter enemy.
Lord Talbot, later the earl of Shrewsbury, the English military hero who leads his nation to victory over France and Joan of Arc.
Joan la Pucelle
Joan la Pucelle, commonly called Joan of Arc, the French shepherdess who becomes the leader of the Dauphin’s army. She is presented as a witch, possessed by devils.
Charles, the Dauphin of France, who readily accepts Joan’s aid and offers himself as her lover.
Richard Plantagenet, who becomes the duke of York, the ambitious leader of the Yorkist party. He is the nephew of Edmund Mortimer. He proclaims his title to the English throne and forces Henry to make him his heir.
Edmund Mortimer, the earl of March, an elderly Yorkist heir who bequeaths his cause to Richard.
The duke of Bedford
The duke of Bedford, Henry VI’s uncle, regent of France.
Thomas Beaufort, the duke of Exeter, Henry’s great-uncle.