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Richard III
Act 2, scene 3

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Entire Play

As Richard III opens, Richard is Duke of Gloucester and his brother, Edward IV, is king. Richard is eager to clear his…

Act 1, scene 1

Richard, alone onstage, reveals his intention to play the villain. He then pretends to console Clarence, the first victim of…

Act 1, scene 2

Richard woos Lady Anne over the corpse of King Henry VI, Anne’s father-in-law, whom Richard murdered.

Act 1, scene 3

Queen Elizabeth bemoans her situation in the face of her husband’s serious illness; Richard quarrels with Queen Elizabeth, her brother,…

Act 1, scene 4

Richard’s agents murder the imprisoned Clarence.

Act 2, scene 1

The dying King Edward IV attempts to reconcile the quarreling factions in his royal court. Queen Elizabeth and her kindred,…

Act 2, scene 2

As the Duchess of York mourns Clarence’s death, Queen Elizabeth enters grieving for the death of King Edward IV. Richard…

Act 2, scene 3

Three citizens discuss the possibly tumultuous succession of Prince Edward.

Act 2, scene 4

As Queen Elizabeth awaits the coming of Prince Edward, news arrives that Richard has imprisoned her brother Rivers, her son…

Act 3, scene 1

Richard and Buckingham arrive in London with Prince Edward and order that Edward’s brother, the Duke of York, be taken…

Act 3, scene 2

Responding to Catesby, Hastings flatly refuses to support Richard’s bid for the throne, and takes great satisfaction in the news…

Act 3, scene 3

The Queen’s brother Rivers, her son Grey, and Sir Thomas Vaughan are led to execution. They recall Margaret’s curse, and…

Act 3, scene 4

A council of lords meets to plan the coronation of Edward V. Richard, learning from Buckingham of Hastings’ refusal to…

Act 3, scene 5

Richard and Buckingham excuse the summary execution of Hastings to the Mayor of London by staging an “uprising” that they…

Act 3, scene 6

The professional scribe who has just finished transcribing Hastings’ indictment shows how the charge against Hastings had been prepared and…

Act 3, scene 7

Richard and Buckingham, having failed to persuade London’s officials and citizens that Richard should be king, stage a scene of…

Act 4, scene 1

Queen Elizabeth, her son Dorset, and the Duchess of York meet Lady Anne and Clarence’s daughter as all approach the…

Act 4, scene 2

The newly crowned Richard asks Buckingham to arrange the deaths of Prince Edward and the Duke of York. When Buckingham…

Act 4, scene 3

Tyrrel reports the deaths of Edward IV’s sons. Richard then reveals that Anne is dead and that he will now…

Act 4, scene 4

Queen Margaret, Queen Elizabeth, and the Duchess of York grieve for their dead. Richard enters on his way to confront…

Act 4, scene 5

Lord Stanley sends news to Richmond, whose army is marching on London: Stanley will be unable to help because Richard…

Act 5, scene 1

Buckingham is led to execution.

Act 5, scene 2

Richmond and his army march against Richard.

Act 5, scene 3

Richard and Richmond and their supporters prepare for battle. Asleep, Richard and Richmond are each visited by the ghosts of…

Act 5, scene 4

In battle Richard has been unhorsed and faces defeat.

Act 5, scene 5

Richmond kills Richard and is given the crown that he will wear as King Henry VII. His coming marriage to…

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Scene 3
Enter one Citizen at one door, and another at the other.

FIRST CITIZEN 
 Good morrow, neighbor, whither away so fast?
SECOND CITIZEN 
 I promise you I scarcely know myself.
 Hear you the news abroad?
FIRST CITIZEN Yes, that the King is dead.
SECOND CITIZEN 
5 Ill news, by ’r Lady. Seldom comes the better.
 I fear, I fear, ’twill prove a giddy world.

Enter another Citizen.

THIRD CITIZEN 
 Neighbors, God speed.
FIRST CITIZEN  Give you good morrow, sir.

117
Richard III
ACT 2. SC. 3

THIRD CITIZEN 
 Doth the news hold of good King Edward’s death?
SECOND CITIZEN 
10 Ay, sir, it is too true, God help the while.
THIRD CITIZEN 
 Then, masters, look to see a troublous world.
FIRST CITIZEN 
 No, no, by God’s good grace, his son shall reign.
THIRD CITIZEN 
 Woe to that land that’s governed by a child.
SECOND CITIZEN 
 In him there is a hope of government,
15 Which, in his nonage, council under him,
 And, in his full and ripened years, himself,
 No doubt shall then, and till then, govern well.
FIRST CITIZEN 
 So stood the state when Henry the Sixth
 Was crowned in Paris but at nine months old.
THIRD CITIZEN 
20 Stood the state so? No, no, good friends, God wot,
 For then this land was famously enriched
 With politic grave counsel; then the King
 Had virtuous uncles to protect his Grace.
FIRST CITIZEN 
 Why, so hath this, both by his father and mother.
THIRD CITIZEN 
25 Better it were they all came by his father,
 Or by his father there were none at all,
 For emulation who shall now be nearest
 Will touch us all too near if God prevent not.
 O, full of danger is the Duke of Gloucester,
30 And the Queen’s sons and brothers haught and
 proud,
 And were they to be ruled, and not to rule,
 This sickly land might solace as before.

119
Richard III
ACT 2. SC. 4

FIRST CITIZEN 
 Come, come, we fear the worst. All will be well.
THIRD CITIZEN 
35 When clouds are seen, wise men put on their
 cloaks;
 When great leaves fall, then winter is at hand;
 When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?
 Untimely storms makes men expect a dearth.
40 All may be well; but if God sort it so,
 ’Tis more than we deserve or I expect.
SECOND CITIZEN 
 Truly, the hearts of men are full of fear.
 You cannot reason almost with a man
 That looks not heavily and full of dread.
THIRD CITIZEN 
45 Before the days of change, still is it so.
 By a divine instinct, men’s minds mistrust
 Ensuing danger, as by proof we see
 The water swell before a boist’rous storm.
 But leave it all to God. Whither away?
SECOND CITIZEN 
50 Marry, we were sent for to the Justices.
THIRD CITIZEN 
 And so was I. I’ll bear you company.
They exit.