List iconRichard III:
Act 3, scene 5
List icon

Richard III
Act 3, scene 5



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 5
Enter Richard and Buckingham, in rotten armor,
marvelous ill-favored.

 Come, cousin, canst thou quake and change thy
 Murder thy breath in middle of a word,
 And then again begin, and stop again,
5 As if thou were distraught and mad with terror?
 Tut, I can counterfeit the deep tragedian,
 Speak, and look back, and pry on every side,
 Tremble and start at wagging of a straw,
 Intending deep suspicion. Ghastly looks
10 Are at my service, like enforcèd smiles,
 And both are ready, in their offices,
 At any time to grace my stratagems.
 But what, is Catesby gone?
 He is; and see he brings the Mayor along.

Richard III
ACT 3. SC. 5

Enter the Mayor and Catesby.

BUCKINGHAM 15Lord Mayor—
RICHARD Look to the drawbridge there!
BUCKINGHAM Hark, a drum!
RICHARD Catesby, o’erlook the walls.
Catesby exits.
BUCKINGHAM Lord Mayor, the reason we have sent—
20 Look back! Defend thee! Here are enemies.
 God and our innocence defend and guard us!

Enter Lovell and Ratcliffe, with Hastings’ head.

 Be patient. They are friends, Ratcliffe and Lovell.
 Here is the head of that ignoble traitor,
 The dangerous and unsuspected Hastings.
25 So dear I loved the man that I must weep.
 I took him for the plainest harmless creature
 That breathed upon the Earth a Christian;
 Made him my book, wherein my soul recorded
 The history of all her secret thoughts.
30 So smooth he daubed his vice with show of virtue
 That, his apparent open guilt omitted—
 I mean his conversation with Shore’s wife—
 He lived from all attainder of suspects.
 Well, well, he was the covert’st sheltered traitor
35 That ever lived.—
 Would you imagine, or almost believe,
 Were ’t not that by great preservation
 We live to tell it, that the subtle traitor

Richard III
ACT 3. SC. 5

 This day had plotted, in the council house,
40 To murder me and my good lord of Gloucester?
MAYOR Had he done so?
 What, think you we are Turks or infidels?
 Or that we would, against the form of law,
 Proceed thus rashly in the villain’s death,
45 But that the extreme peril of the case,
 The peace of England, and our persons’ safety
 Enforced us to this execution?
 Now fair befall you! He deserved his death,
 And your good Graces both have well proceeded
50 To warn false traitors from the like attempts.
 I never looked for better at his hands
 After he once fell in with Mistress Shore.
 Yet had we not determined he should die
 Until your Lordship came to see his end
55 (Which now the loving haste of these our friends,
 Something against our meanings, have prevented),
 Because, my lord, I would have had you heard
 The traitor speak and timorously confess
 The manner and the purpose of his treasons,
60 That you might well have signified the same
 Unto the citizens, who haply may
 Misconster us in him, and wail his death.
 But, my good lord, your Graces’ words shall serve
 As well as I had seen and heard him speak;
65 And do not doubt, right noble princes both,
 But I’ll acquaint our duteous citizens
 With all your just proceedings in this case.
 And to that end we wished your Lordship here,
 T’ avoid the censures of the carping world.

Richard III
ACT 3. SC. 5

70 Which since you come too late of our intent,
 Yet witness what you hear we did intend.
 And so, my good Lord Mayor, we bid farewell.
Mayor exits.
 Go after, after, cousin Buckingham.
 The Mayor towards Guildhall hies him in all post.
75 There, at your meetest vantage of the time,
 Infer the bastardy of Edward’s children.
 Tell them how Edward put to death a citizen
 Only for saying he would make his son
 Heir to the Crown—meaning indeed his house,
80 Which, by the sign thereof, was termèd so.
 Moreover, urge his hateful luxury
 And bestial appetite in change of lust,
 Which stretched unto their servants, daughters,
85 Even where his raging eye or savage heart,
 Without control, lusted to make a prey.
 Nay, for a need, thus far come near my person:
 Tell them when that my mother went with child
 Of that insatiate Edward, noble York
90 My princely father then had wars in France,
 And, by true computation of the time,
 Found that the issue was not his begot,
 Which well appearèd in his lineaments,
 Being nothing like the noble duke my father.
95 Yet touch this sparingly, as ’twere far off,
 Because, my lord, you know my mother lives.
 Doubt not, my lord. I’ll play the orator
 As if the golden fee for which I plead
 Were for myself. And so, my lord, adieu.
100 If you thrive well, bring them to Baynard’s Castle,

Richard III
ACT 3. SC. 6

 Where you shall find me well accompanied
 With reverend fathers and well-learnèd bishops.
 I go; and towards three or four o’clock
 Look for the news that the Guildhall affords.
Buckingham exits.
105 Go, Lovell, with all speed to Doctor Shaa.
 To Ratcliffe. Go thou to Friar Penker. Bid them
 Meet me within this hour at Baynard’s Castle.
Ratcliffe and Lovell exit.
 Now will I go to take some privy order
110 To draw the brats of Clarence out of sight,
 And to give order that no manner person
 Have any time recourse unto the Princes.
He exits.