I read this Shakespeare’s play both for Let’s Read Plays (I skipped last February’s theme: History, and so would pay it off this month). I would also read this for my WEM Self-Project, and as usual, the first few posts would be dedicated for summaries, as inquired for the First Level Inquiry. Now, let us summarize Act I and II….
In peace time Richard, who has a deformed body, was bored, and so he sets up an adversary between his brother Clarence and King Edward IV (Richard’s brother) so that Clarence would be imprisoned. After that he intends to marry Lady Anne after killing her husband and father-in-law.
King Henry VI was stabbed just like Prince Edward, Anne’s husband. Anne was first enraged with Richard whom she knew was the murderer; but under his smart courting, Richard finally conquered the lady.
Queen Elizabeth worried that the throne would go to King’s brothers, not to her too-young sons. Richard complained that Elizabeth had roused King’s dislike against him and Clarence, while Queen Margaret—who was King Henry’s widow—accused Richard and cursed everybody. In the end Elizabeth and everybody else seemed to take side with Richard.
Two murderers were sent by Richard to murder Clarence up in the Tower (prison). After reasoning with their own consciences and even debating with the-victim-to-be, Clarence was stabbed by one of the murderers, while the other one fled away.
While dying, King Edward IV reconciled all the disputed factions within the family: the Queen, the Dukes, and Richard. King Edward regrets very much of Clarence’s death whose execution-warrant revision had come late (another trick from Richard!). The King accused the others for not pleading for Clarence’s life.
King Edward finally died, and everyone agreed that a small train should dispatch The Prince to be crowned. Apparently Buckingham conspired with Richard to (I guess) kidnap and murder the Prince.
Citizens foresaw that troubles will happen in their country after the King died; the factions of King’s and Queen’s relatives would be vying for the throne.
While waiting for Prince Edward’s arrival, a message came that Lord Rivers and Grey had been imprisoned by Richard and Buckingham. Queen, Duchess of York and young York fled to a sanctuary, carrying the Seal of England which had been trusted by Archbishop of York to the Queen.