List iconRichard III:
Characters in the Play
List icon

Richard III
Characters in the Play


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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Characters in the Play
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later King Richard III
Lady Anne, widow of Edward, son to the late King Henry VI;
 later wife to Richard

King Edward IV, brother to Richard
Queen Elizabeth, Edward’s wife, formerly the Lady Grey
Prince Edward
Richard, Duke of York
their sons
George, Duke of Clarence, brother to Edward and Richard
Clarence’s Boy
Clarence’s Daughter
Duchess of York, mother of Richard, Edward, and Clarence
Queen Margaret, widow of King Henry VI
Duke of Buckingham
William, Lord Hastings, Lord Chamberlain
Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby
Earl Rivers, brother to Queen Elizabeth
Lord Grey
Marquess of Dorset
sons of Queen Elizabeth by her
former marriage
Sir Thomas Vaughan
Sir William Catesby
Sir Richard Ratcliffe
Lord Lovell
Duke of Norfolk
Earl of Surrey
Richard’s supporters
Earl of Richmond, Henry Tudor, later King Henry VII
Earl of Oxford
Sir James Blunt
Sir Walter Herbert
Sir William Brandon
Sir Christopher, a priest
Richmond’s supporters
John Morton, Bishop of Ely
Sir Robert Brakenbury, Lieutenant of the Tower in London
James Tyrrel, gentleman
Gentleman, attending Lady Anne
Two Murderers
Keeper in the Tower
Three Citizens
Lord Mayor of London
Sir John, a priest
Seven Messengers
Ghosts of King Henry VI, his son Prince Edward, Clarence, Rivers, Grey, Vaughan, the two Princes, Hastings, Lady Anne, and Buckingham
Guards, Tressel, Berkeley, Halberds, Gentlemen, Anthony Woodeville and Lord Scales (brothers to Queen Elizabeth), Two Bishops, Sir William Brandon, Lords, Attendants, Citizens, Aldermen, Councillors, Soldiers