Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
*Tower of London. Famous castle and prison alongside the River Thames in London. Richard of Gloucester murders King Henry in the Tower, foreshadowing Richard’s more famous Tower murders in Shakespeare’s earlier play Richard III (1592-1593). In the tower, Henry VI, once the king of England and France, lives and dies as a helpless prisoner, an almost fitting end for a man who could not rule his powerful nobles. Paradoxically, however, it is inside this prison that the ineffectual Henry grows into a prophet, foreseeing in young Henry of Richmond a great future king and in Richard a tyrant.
*Royal palace. Edward IV’s court in London. In a play dominated by battle scenes the royal palace serves as a theatrical respite. Edward, while at court and apparently secure on his throne, pursues the widow Elizabeth Grey as he had once pursued the crown. Romantic intrigues replace military strategy, and battles yield to bawdy jokes and double entendres. But any security here is temporary; the discord produced by civil war continues. Edward’s wooing of and subsequent marriage to Elizabeth will only renew the Wars of the Roses. More ominously, it is at the court that Richard of Gloucester gives his famous soliloquy, announcing his ambition to become king.