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Richard III
Act 5, scene 1

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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 1
Enter Buckingham, with Sheriff and Halberds, led to
execution.


BUCKINGHAM 
 Will not King Richard let me speak with him?
SHERIFF 
 No, my good lord. Therefore be patient.
BUCKINGHAM 
 Hastings and Edward’s children, Grey and Rivers,
 Holy King Henry and thy fair son Edward,
5 Vaughan, and all that have miscarrièd
 By underhand, corrupted, foul injustice,
 If that your moody, discontented souls
 Do through the clouds behold this present hour,
 Even for revenge mock my destruction.—
10 This is All Souls’ Day, fellow, is it not?
SHERIFF It is.
BUCKINGHAM 
 Why, then, All Souls’ Day is my body’s doomsday.
 This is the day which, in King Edward’s time,
 I wished might fall on me when I was found
15 False to his children and his wife’s allies.
 This is the day wherein I wished to fall
 By the false faith of him whom most I trusted.
 This, this All Souls’ Day to my fearful soul
267

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Richard III
ACT 5. SC. 2

 Is the determined respite of my wrongs.
20 That high All-seer which I dallied with
 Hath turned my feignèd prayer on my head
 And given in earnest what I begged in jest.
 Thus doth he force the swords of wicked men
 To turn their own points in their masters’ bosoms.
25 Thus Margaret’s curse falls heavy on my neck:
 “When he,” quoth she, “shall split thy heart with
 sorrow,
 Remember Margaret was a prophetess.”—
 Come, lead me, officers, to the block of shame.
30 Wrong hath but wrong, and blame the due of blame.
Buckingham exits with Officers.