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  • SparkNotes: Richard III: Act II, scenes i–ii
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In the "death of kings" speech of Act III, scene II, Richard wrestles with the realization that though he is king, he is also a man....

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Act 1 Scene 4, the two assassins have a discussion before murdering ..
Margaret's curse in the first act becomes more powerful by this point in the play, for several of the characters she cursed to die have in fact been killed. Both Rivers and Gray die by invoking Margaret's curse, and say that after them will come , Buckingham and finally Richard. This is once again invoked by Margaret when she demands a "right for right" (4.4.15). Thus the play really does turn into a revenge play in its final moments, as a result of the invocation of talionic justice.

Richard III William Shakespeare

Geesh. We need to stop and take a breather, because Shakespeare (thanks to Richard's "hurry up and snag the crown and kill all my enemies" strategy) is zooming through about 14 years of history in five acts. (Go to "Setting" if you want to know more about this.)


Seneca Epistles Book 1 - Stoics

The Duchess of York also learns the ability to curse in this portion of the play. Note how her language changes from smooth passages to stichomythic lines. She essentially becomes a similar character to Margaret, and thus is able to put a curse onto Richard, telling him that, "Bloody that art, bloody will be thy end; / Shame serves thy life, and doth thy death attend" 4.4.195-196)

The next scene which marks the complete degeneration of Richard's control over the action is when Ratcliffe and Catesby come to tell him about Richmond's navy. He issues orders to Catesby to "fly to the Duke" and orders Ratcliffe to head to Salisbury. Both men remain standing, at which Richard cries, "dull, unmindful villain, / why stay'st thou here, and goest not to the Duke?" (4.4.376-377). Catesby asks him, "What from your grace I shall deliver to him?" The action ends with Richard remarking, "My mind is changed" (4.4.387). Indeed, his mind is no longer the same, and he is unable to stay three steps ahead of the other characters as he initially did.

Greetings from Seneca to his friend Lucilius

But while this approach undoubtedly allows the story of Richard III to be broadcasted to a more diverse audience, its total rejection of historical fact, along with the way in which Loncraine skips around the text, cuts scenes, and adds small but important details to the aesthetics of Shakespeare’s play may mislead the audience and thus distract them from the original piece....

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Richard III study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.


Because of the uncertainty surrounding his true character, Richard III is an intriguing personality to put into modern culture, which is exactly what Ian McKellen does in his rendition of the infamous ruler....

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Thomas Aquinas In Richard III, Shakespeare creates evil personified. The wicked protagonist conspires against kin, plots political takeovers, woos widows, sets assassins against children, and relishes each nefarious act. We watch Richard's bravado with wicked glee and delight in each boasting comment sent our direction. Once the bad guy becomes seductive, even amusing, in his blatant cruelty...

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The last Act contains many supernatural elements such as ghosts of the people Richard III has murdered or got killed and curses, for example, Buckingham remembering Margaret's curse, prophecies and dreams, a message...