Henry VI, Part 1

Back to List of Characters

Bastard of Orleans

The Bastard of Orleans is a fascinating character in Henry VI, Part 1. This historical play portrays the events of the reign of King Henry VI of England, and the Bastard of Orleans plays a significant role in the narrative.

The Bastard of Orleans, also known as Sir John Fastolfe, is a loyal and skilled soldier who fights on the side of the English in the Hundred Years' War against France. He is a dynamic and complex character who is both ambitious and pragmatic.

As a soldier, the Bastard of Orleans demonstrates remarkable courage and military prowess. He is known for his strategic thinking and his ability to inspire his fellow soldiers. He is also a charismatic leader who is able to rally troops and boost morale on the battlefield.

One of the most memorable moments involving the Bastard of Orleans occurs during the Battle of Patay. In this battle, the French forces, led by Joan of Arc, achieve a stunning victory over the English. However, the Bastard of Orleans manages to escape capture and rallies the English troops to regroup and continue fighting.

Character Development

In addition to his military skills, the Bastard of Orleans undergoes significant character development throughout the play. Initially, he is portrayed as a self-serving opportunist who is primarily concerned with his own advancement. However, as the play progresses, the Bastard of Orleans begins to display a sense of loyalty and honor.

One of the most notable moments of character development occurs when the Bastard of Orleans saves the life of a captured French soldier, Charles, who later becomes known as Charles VII, the future King of France. This act of kindness and mercy demonstrates the Bastard of Orleans' growth as a character and his capacity for empathy.

Overall, the Bastard of Orleans is a multifaceted character who adds depth and complexity to Henry VI, Part 1. His military prowess, strategic thinking, and character development make him a memorable and compelling figure in Shakespeare's play.