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Henry VI, Part 3 Characters

Edward, Earl of March, of the Yorkist party, is later Duke of York and King Edward IV; he is the same as the Edward of Henry VI, Part Two

A loyal son, he has occasional attacks of conscience about the things he does, though these are mainly afterthoughts. He is not as intelligent as his brother Richard, nor quite as ambitious as either his brothers or his father, and is an unrepentant, uncontrolled womanizer, who would much rather go wenching than rule and does not necessarily accept the word ‘No.’ Among his conquests is Warwick’s niece, something Warwick is willing to overlook at first. Edward does share his family’s morbid sense of humor, gleefully mocking Clifford (or his body). He is greatly dependent on Warwick for both advice and power, and is generally happy to let the older man lead. Rather feckless when he first becomes King, he never takes any of his brothers’ complaints seriously; thinking George merely petulant, Edward does not realize that he is alienating him, nor that Richard is hoping to take the crown himself. He trades his help for sexual favors, and though he tries to be subtle about his meaning, he is rather crude in his advances to Lady Gray. His decision to marry her brings both his brother and Warwick to rebellion. He attempts to imitate Henry IV (see Richard II) when he returns to England claiming that he only wants his dukedom back, but is soon bullied into going after the crown again. He may feel guilt-stricken about this, refusing to let King Henry speak when they capture him. He is respected more as a persuasive speaker and well-loved man than as a fighter in his own right. Despite his somewhat repressed conscience, he stabs Prince Edward in front of his mother’s eyes. He does not, however, give orders for King Henry’s death. He is delighted when his wife gives him a son. How his reign turns out can be discovered in Richard III.


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