Henry VI, Part 2 Characters

Characters Discussed (Great Characters in Literature)

King Henry VI

King Henry VI, the king of England. Although he is the title character, he is by no means the central character of the play. A deeply religious man, he is an ineffective ruler, easily swayed by stronger personalities, including those of his wife and his advisers. He is unable to deal realistically with political conflict and seems unaware that many members of his court are plotting against him. When France retakes territory the English have held, Henry responds only that it must be God’s will. He calls for peace and harmony. Neither does he protest much when Gloucester is brought down. He is aware of his own weaknesses as a ruler and wishes he were not called by God to command. When Richard Plantagenet claims the throne, Henry retreats.

Humphrey, duke of Gloucester

Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, a noble and patriotic son of England. He is deeply upset that Henry has given to the French the territories of Anjou and Maine, in exchange for Margaret, the new queen. He remains loyal to the king and to England, using his popularity and wisdom in the service of holding together the divided country. He is next in line for the throne but has no desire to rule. A trusted adviser and friend to Henry, he is a threat to Margaret and to the Duke of Suffolk’s quest for more power. Humphrey’s wife faces trumped-up charges of witchcraft and is banished; soon afterward, Humphrey himself is falsely accused of treason...

(The entire section is 565 words.)

Henry VI, Part 2 Character Analysis

Cade (Jack Cade, also known as John Cade)

Cade's extraordinary attempt to overthrow the king occupies almost all of the action in Act IV, and he even makes an appearance (at least his...

(The entire section is 611 words.)

Gloucester (Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester)

Lord Protector to the king, he is loved by the common people (III.ii.248). Although he is heir to the throne and has an ambitious wife, he...

(The entire section is 353 words.)

Henry (King Henry VI of England)

Henry is depicted as weak, indecisive, and unable to keep his fractious nobles at peace with each other. He is highly religious and rather...

(The entire section is 683 words.)

Other Characters

Aldermen
These non-speaking characters appear at II.i.65. They enter carrying the crippled Simpcox, who has supposedly regained...

(The entire section is 4365 words.)