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Richard III
Act 3, scene 3

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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 3
Enter Sir Richard Ratcliffe, with Halberds, carrying the
nobles Rivers, Grey, and Vaughan to death at Pomfret.


RIVERS 
 Sir Richard Ratcliffe, let me tell thee this:
 Today shalt thou behold a subject die
 For truth, for duty, and for loyalty.
GREY, to Ratcliffe 
 God bless the Prince from all the pack of you!
5 A knot you are of damnèd bloodsuckers.

157
Richard III
ACT 3. SC. 3

VAUGHAN, to Ratcliffe 
 You live that shall cry woe for this hereafter.
RATCLIFFE 
 Dispatch. The limit of your lives is out.
RIVERS 
 O Pomfret, Pomfret! O thou bloody prison,
 Fatal and ominous to noble peers!
10 Within the guilty closure of thy walls,
 Richard the Second here was hacked to death,
 And, for more slander to thy dismal seat,
 We give to thee our guiltless blood to drink.
GREY 
 Now Margaret’s curse is fall’n upon our heads,
15 When she exclaimed on Hastings, you, and I,
 For standing by when Richard stabbed her son.
RIVERS 
 Then cursed she Richard. Then cursed she
 Buckingham.
 Then cursed she Hastings. O, remember, God,
20 To hear her prayer for them as now for us!
 And for my sister and her princely sons,
 Be satisfied, dear God, with our true blood,
 Which, as thou know’st, unjustly must be spilt.
RATCLIFFE 
 Make haste. The hour of death is expiate.
RIVERS 
25 Come, Grey. Come, Vaughan. Let us here embrace.
They embrace.
 Farewell until we meet again in heaven.
They exit.