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Richard III
Act 3, scene 2

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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 2
Enter a Messenger to the door of Hastings.

MESSENGER, knocking My lord, my lord.
HASTINGS, within Who knocks?
MESSENGER One from the Lord Stanley.
HASTINGS, within What is ’t o’clock?
MESSENGER 5Upon the stroke of four.

Enter Lord Hastings.

HASTINGS 
 Cannot my Lord Stanley sleep these tedious nights?
MESSENGER 
 So it appears by that I have to say.
 First, he commends him to your noble self.

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Richard III
ACT 3. SC. 2

HASTINGS What then?
MESSENGER 
10 Then certifies your Lordship that this night
 He dreamt the boar had razèd off his helm.
 Besides, he says there are two councils kept,
 And that may be determined at the one
 Which may make you and him to rue at th’ other.
15 Therefore he sends to know your Lordship’s
 pleasure,
 If you will presently take horse with him
 And with all speed post with him toward the north
 To shun the danger that his soul divines.
HASTINGS 
20 Go, fellow, go. Return unto thy lord.
 Bid him not fear the separated council.
 His Honor and myself are at the one,
 And at the other is my good friend Catesby,
 Where nothing can proceed that toucheth us
25 Whereof I shall not have intelligence.
 Tell him his fears are shallow, without instance.
 And for his dreams, I wonder he’s so simple
 To trust the mock’ry of unquiet slumbers.
 To fly the boar before the boar pursues
30 Were to incense the boar to follow us
 And make pursuit where he did mean no chase.
 Go, bid thy master rise and come to me,
 And we will both together to the Tower,
 Where he shall see the boar will use us kindly.
MESSENGER 
35 I’ll go, my lord, and tell him what you say.He exits.

Enter Catesby.

CATESBY 
 Many good morrows to my noble lord.

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Richard III
ACT 3. SC. 2

HASTINGS 
 Good morrow, Catesby. You are early stirring.
 What news, what news in this our tott’ring state?
CATESBY 
 It is a reeling world indeed, my lord,
40 And I believe will never stand upright
 Till Richard wear the garland of the realm.
HASTINGS 
 How “wear the garland”? Dost thou mean the
 crown?
CATESBY Ay, my good lord.
HASTINGS 
45 I’ll have this crown of mine cut from my shoulders
 Before I’ll see the crown so foul misplaced.
 But canst thou guess that he doth aim at it?
CATESBY 
 Ay, on my life, and hopes to find you forward
 Upon his party for the gain thereof;
50 And thereupon he sends you this good news,
 That this same very day your enemies,
 The kindred of the Queen, must die at Pomfret.
HASTINGS 
 Indeed, I am no mourner for that news,
 Because they have been still my adversaries.
55 But that I’ll give my voice on Richard’s side
 To bar my master’s heirs in true descent,
 God knows I will not do it, to the death.
CATESBY 
 God keep your Lordship in that gracious mind.
HASTINGS 
 But I shall laugh at this a twelve-month hence,
60 That they which brought me in my master’s hate,
 I live to look upon their tragedy.
 Well, Catesby, ere a fortnight make me older
 I’ll send some packing that yet think not on ’t.

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Richard III
ACT 3. SC. 2

CATESBY 
 ’Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord,
65 When men are unprepared and look not for it.
HASTINGS 
 O monstrous, monstrous! And so falls it out
 With Rivers, Vaughan, Grey; and so ’twill do
 With some men else that think themselves as safe
 As thou and I, who, as thou know’st, are dear
70 To princely Richard and to Buckingham.
CATESBY 
 The Princes both make high account of you—
 Aside. For they account his head upon the Bridge.
HASTINGS 
 I know they do, and I have well deserved it.

Enter Lord Stanley.

 Come on, come on. Where is your boar-spear, man?
75 Fear you the boar and go so unprovided?
STANLEY 
 My lord, good morrow.—Good morrow, Catesby.—
 You may jest on, but, by the Holy Rood,
 I do not like these several councils, I.
HASTINGS 
 My lord, I hold my life as dear as you do yours,
80 And never in my days, I do protest,
 Was it so precious to me as ’tis now.
 Think you but that I know our state secure,
 I would be so triumphant as I am?
STANLEY 
 The lords at Pomfret, when they rode from London,
85 Were jocund and supposed their states were sure,
 And they indeed had no cause to mistrust;
 But yet you see how soon the day o’ercast.
 This sudden stab of rancor I misdoubt.
 Pray God, I say, I prove a needless coward!
90 What, shall we toward the Tower? The day is spent.

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ACT 3. SC. 2

HASTINGS 
 Come, come. Have with you. Wot you what, my lord?
 Today the lords you talked of are beheaded.
STANLEY 
 They, for their truth, might better wear their heads
 Than some that have accused them wear their hats.
95 But come, my lord, let’s away.

Enter a Pursuivant.

HASTINGS 
 Go on before. I’ll talk with this good fellow.
Lord Stanley and Catesby exit.
 How now, sirrah? How goes the world with thee?
PURSUIVANT 
 The better that your Lordship please to ask.
HASTINGS 
 I tell thee, man, ’tis better with me now
100 Than when thou met’st me last where now we meet.
 Then was I going prisoner to the Tower
 By the suggestion of the Queen’s allies.
 But now, I tell thee—keep it to thyself—
 This day those enemies are put to death,
105 And I in better state than e’er I was.
PURSUIVANT 
 God hold it, to your Honor’s good content!
HASTINGS 
 Gramercy, fellow. There, drink that for me.
Throws him his purse.
PURSUIVANT I thank your Honor.Pursuivant exits.

Enter a Priest.

PRIEST 
 Well met, my lord. I am glad to see your Honor.
HASTINGS 
110 I thank thee, good Sir John, with all my heart.

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Richard III
ACT 3. SC. 3

 I am in your debt for your last exercise.
 Come the next sabbath, and I will content you.
PRIEST I’ll wait upon your Lordship.Priest exits.

Enter Buckingham.

BUCKINGHAM 
 What, talking with a priest, Lord Chamberlain?
115 Your friends at Pomfret, they do need the priest;
 Your Honor hath no shriving work in hand.
HASTINGS 
 Good faith, and when I met this holy man,
 The men you talk of came into my mind.
 What, go you toward the Tower?
BUCKINGHAM 
120 I do, my lord, but long I cannot stay there.
 I shall return before your Lordship thence.
HASTINGS 
 Nay, like enough, for I stay dinner there.
BUCKINGHAM, aside 
 And supper too, although thou know’st it not.—
 Come, will you go?
HASTINGS 125 I’ll wait upon your Lordship.
They exit.