Thursday, June 20, 2013

Richard III - Act III Summaries

Following my summaries of Act I and II, this is the seven scenes of Shakespeare’s Richard III of Act III.


Scene I

Prince Edward was disappointed for not finding his mother and brother welcoming him. Buckingham persuaded Cardinal to pick up Duke of York from the sanctuary, and the two brothers reunited. Richard insisted they both stayed up in the Tower. Meanwhile, Buckingham and Richard gathered allies to realize their plan; they would hold two councils the next day at the Tower. They sent Catesby to approach Hastings.

Prince Edward and Duke of York in the Tower

Scene II

Lord Derby was scared and sent messenger to Hastings, but Hastings was sure that there’s no danger as Catesby was a double agent for their advantage. Hastings rejected to join Richard, and he heard that Queen’s relatives were going to be headed.

Scene III

Lord Rivers, Grey and Vaughan were executed by Ratcliff at Pomfret.

Scene IV

In the council, Richard trapped Hastings by showing that he has been bewitched by Queen and Mistress Shore (which has been Hastings’ after King’s death). Hastings who naturally defended his mistress, was called traitor by Richard and was finally sent for death.

Scene V

Richard sent for Lord Mayor, accused Hastings for being traitor in front of him, and asked for his protection from citizens’ complaint. Richard then sent Buckingham to spread a good fake story about Prince Edward being a bastard son and lustful man to London citizens. Richard also sent for a priest and a learned bishop, then wrote order to forbid anyone seeing Prince Edward and Clarence’s children.

Scene VI

A scrivener (=professional copier) stated openly that he had an official indictment of Lord Hastings that he would read aloud in public outside St. Paul Cathedral.

Scene VII

Buckingham had spread the story of how bad Edward was and how fit Richard was to be King of England. When Lord Major and citizens came to propose Richard to be King, he pretended to accept it difficultly through such a ‘show’! At the end, it was the citizens who forced Richard to be King, not the other way round. What a clever and sleek game!


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