List iconRichard III:
Act 3, scene 1
List icon

Richard III
Act 3, scene 1



Characters in the Play

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 1]
The trumpets sound. Enter young Prince Edward,
Richard Duke of Gloucester, Buckingham,
the Cardinal, Catesby, and others.

 Welcome, sweet prince, to London, to your chamber.
RICHARD, to Prince 
 Welcome, dear cousin, my thoughts’ sovereign.
 The weary way hath made you melancholy.
 No, uncle, but our crosses on the way
5 Have made it tedious, wearisome, and heavy.
 I want more uncles here to welcome me.
 Sweet prince, the untainted virtue of your years
 Hath not yet dived into the world’s deceit;
 Nor more can you distinguish of a man
10 Than of his outward show, which, God He knows,
 Seldom or never jumpeth with the heart.
 Those uncles which you want were dangerous.
 Your Grace attended to their sugared words
 But looked not on the poison of their hearts.
15 God keep you from them, and from such false

Richard III
ACT 3. SC. 1

 God keep me from false friends, but they were none.
 My lord, the Mayor of London comes to greet you.

Enter Lord Mayor with others.

 God bless your Grace with health and happy days.
20 I thank you, good my lord, and thank you all.—
 I thought my mother and my brother York
 Would long ere this have met us on the way.
 Fie, what a slug is Hastings that he comes not
 To tell us whether they will come or no!

Enter Lord Hastings.

25 And in good time here comes the sweating lord.
 Welcome, my lord. What, will our mother come?
 On what occasion God He knows, not I,
 The Queen your mother and your brother York
 Have taken sanctuary. The tender prince
30 Would fain have come with me to meet your Grace,
 But by his mother was perforce withheld.
 Fie, what an indirect and peevish course
 Is this of hers!—Lord Cardinal, will your Grace
 Persuade the Queen to send the Duke of York
35 Unto his princely brother presently?—
 If she deny, Lord Hastings, go with him,
 And from her jealous arms pluck him perforce.
 My lord of Buckingham, if my weak oratory

Richard III
ACT 3. SC. 1

 Can from his mother win the Duke of York,
40 Anon expect him here; but if she be obdurate
 To mild entreaties, God in heaven forbid
 We should infringe the holy privilege
 Of blessèd sanctuary! Not for all this land
 Would I be guilty of so deep a sin.
45 You are too senseless obstinate, my lord,
 Too ceremonious and traditional.
 Weigh it but with the grossness of this age,
 You break not sanctuary in seizing him.
 The benefit thereof is always granted
50 To those whose dealings have deserved the place
 And those who have the wit to claim the place.
 This prince hath neither claimed it nor deserved it
 And therefore, in mine opinion, cannot have it.
 Then taking him from thence that is not there,
55 You break no privilege nor charter there.
 Oft have I heard of sanctuary men,
 But sanctuary children, never till now.
 My lord, you shall o’errule my mind for once.—
 Come on, Lord Hastings, will you go with me?
HASTINGS 60I go, my lord.
 Good lords, make all the speedy haste you may.
[The Cardinal and Hastings exit.]
 Say, uncle Gloucester, if our brother come,
 Where shall we sojourn till our coronation?
 Where it seems best unto your royal self.
65 If I may counsel you, some day or two
 Your Highness shall repose you at the Tower;
 Then where you please and shall be thought most fit
 For your best health and recreation.

Richard III
ACT 3. SC. 1

 I do not like the Tower, of any place.—
70 Did Julius Caesar build that place, my lord?
 He did, my gracious lord, begin that place,
 Which, since, succeeding ages have re-edified.
 Is it upon record, or else reported
 Successively from age to age, he built it?
BUCKINGHAM 75Upon record, my gracious lord.
 But say, my lord, it were not registered,
 Methinks the truth should live from age to age,
 As ’twere retailed to all posterity,
 Even to the general all-ending day.
RICHARD, aside 
80 So wise so young, they say, do never live long.
PRINCE What say you, uncle?
 I say, without characters fame lives long.
 Aside. Thus, like the formal Vice, Iniquity,
 I moralize two meanings in one word.
85 That Julius Caesar was a famous man.
 With what his valor did enrich his wit,
 His wit set down to make his [valor] live.
 Death makes no conquest of this conqueror,
 For now he lives in fame, though not in life.
90 I’ll tell you what, my cousin Buckingham—
BUCKINGHAM What, my gracious lord?
 An if I live until I be a man,
 I’ll win our ancient right in France again
 Or die a soldier, as I lived a king.
RICHARD, aside 
95 Short summers lightly have a forward spring.

Richard III
ACT 3. SC. 1

Enter young Duke of York, Hastings, and the

 Now in good time here comes the Duke of York.
 Richard of York, how fares our loving brother?
 Well, my dread lord—so must I call you now.
 Ay, brother, to our grief, as it is yours.
100 Too late he died that might have kept that title,
 Which by his death hath lost much majesty.
 How fares our cousin, noble lord of York?
 I thank you, gentle uncle. O my lord,
 You said that idle weeds are fast in growth.
105 The Prince my brother hath outgrown me far.
 He hath, my lord.
YORK  And therefore is he idle?
 O my fair cousin, I must not say so.
 Then he is more beholding to you than I.
110 He may command me as my sovereign,
 But you have power in me as in a kinsman.
 I pray you, uncle, give me this dagger.
 My dagger, little cousin? With all my heart.
PRINCE A beggar, brother?
115 Of my kind uncle, that I know will give,
 And being but a toy, which is no grief to give.

Richard III
ACT 3. SC. 1

 A greater gift than that I’ll give my cousin.
 A greater gift? O, that’s the sword to it.
 Ay, gentle cousin, were it light enough.
120 O, then I see you will part but with light gifts.
 In weightier things you’ll say a beggar nay.
 It is too heavy for your Grace to wear.
 I weigh it lightly, were it heavier.
 What, would you have my weapon, little lord?
125 I would, that I might thank you as you call me.
YORK Little.
 My lord of York will still be cross in talk.
 Uncle, your Grace knows how to bear with him.
130 You mean, to bear me, not to bear with me.—
 Uncle, my brother mocks both you and me.
 Because that I am little, like an ape,
 He thinks that you should bear me on your
135 With what a sharp-provided wit he reasons!
 To mitigate the scorn he gives his uncle,
 He prettily and aptly taunts himself.
 So cunning and so young is wonderful.
RICHARD, to Prince 
 My lord, will ’t please you pass along?

Richard III
ACT 3. SC. 1

140 Myself and my good cousin Buckingham
 Will to your mother, to entreat of her
 To meet you at the Tower and welcome you.
YORK, to Prince 
 What, will you go unto the Tower, my lord?
 My Lord Protector needs will have it so.
145 I shall not sleep in quiet at the Tower.
RICHARD Why, what should you fear?
 Marry, my uncle Clarence’ angry ghost.
 My grandam told me he was murdered there.
PRINCE I fear no uncles dead.
RICHARD 150Nor none that live, I hope.
 An if they live, I hope I need not fear.
 To York. But come, my lord. With a heavy heart,
 Thinking on them, go I unto the Tower.
[A sennet. Prince Edward, the Duke of York,
and Hastings exit. Richard, Buckingham,
and Catesby remain.]

BUCKINGHAM, to Richard 
 Think you, my lord, this little prating York
155 Was not incensèd by his subtle mother
 To taunt and scorn you thus opprobriously?
 No doubt, no doubt. O, ’tis a parlous boy,
 Bold, quick, ingenious, forward, capable.
 He is all the mother’s, from the top to toe.
160 Well, let them rest.—Come hither, Catesby.
 Thou art sworn as deeply to effect what we intend
 As closely to conceal what we impart.
 Thou knowest our reasons, urged upon the way.

Richard III
ACT 3. SC. 1

 What thinkest thou? Is it not an easy matter
165 To make William Lord Hastings of our mind
 For the installment of this noble duke
 In the seat royal of this famous isle?
 He, for his father’s sake, so loves the Prince
 That he will not be won to aught against him.
170 What think’st thou then of Stanley? Will not he?
 He will do all in all as Hastings doth.
 Well then, no more but this: go, gentle Catesby,
 And, as it were far off, sound thou Lord Hastings
 How he doth stand affected to our purpose
175 And summon him tomorrow to the Tower
 To sit about the coronation.
 If thou dost find him tractable to us,
 Encourage him and tell him all our reasons.
 If he be leaden, icy, cold, unwilling,
180 Be thou so too, and so break off the talk,
 And give us notice of his inclination;
 For we tomorrow hold divided councils,
 Wherein thyself shalt highly be employed.
 Commend me to Lord William. Tell him, Catesby,
185 His ancient knot of dangerous adversaries
 Tomorrow are let blood at Pomfret Castle,
 And bid my lord, for joy of this good news,
 Give Mistress Shore one gentle kiss the more.
 Good Catesby, go effect this business soundly.
190 My good lords both, with all the heed I can.
 Shall we hear from you, Catesby, ere we sleep?

Richard III
ACT 3. SC. 2

CATESBY You shall, my lord.
 At Crosby House, there shall you find us both.
Catesby exits.
 Now, my lord, what shall we do if we perceive
195 Lord Hastings will not yield to our complots?
 Chop off his head. Something we will determine.
 And look when I am king, claim thou of me
 The earldom of Hereford, and all the movables
 Whereof the King my brother was possessed.
200 I’ll claim that promise at your Grace’s hand.
 And look to have it yielded with all kindness.
 Come, let us sup betimes, that afterwards
 We may digest our complots in some form.
They exit.