William Shakespeare's King Richard the third in the complete original text.
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The Tragedy of King Richard the Third

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King Richard III Play

Richard the Third takes up the action from Henry VI, Part Three. Edward IV has grown ill, and will not live much longer.... Richard III (the Duke of Gloucester) still has his eye on the throne even though his brother, Edward IV occcupies it. The Duke of Gloucester plans on setting Edward IV and his other brother George (Duke of Clarence) against one another so he can eventually seize the throne. Betraying his brother George, The Duke of Gloucester casts doubt on his brother, resulting in George being arrested on the charge of treason. Showing his evil, the Duke of Gloucester even pursues Anne, the widow of the slain Edward, Prince of Wales (Henry VI's son). Scandalously, the Duke of Gloucester does not even let a funeral procession (for Henry VI) get in his way...The Duke of Gloucester successfully courts Anne despite telling her he had her husband killed because he loved her.

Edward IV dies, intensifying the Duke of Gloucester's desire for the throne. Leaving nothing to chance, The Duke of Gloucester has already made plans for brother Clarence to die in the Tower of London, Clarence drowning in a wine barrel. Naturally the Duke of Gloucester will have to take the throne until Edward V, Edward's IV's son and heir is of age to rule. Queen Elizabeth's sons Grey and Dorset are sent by Buckingham and Richard III to Pomfret Castle. Queen Elizabeth and son Richard (the Duke of York) go into hiding. Under the guise of protection, Richard has both Edward V (the Prince of Wales) and his brother the Duke of York stay in the Tower of London, a place where Gloucester, Henry VI and George have all been killed... Now, Richard III imprisons Rivers, Vaughn and Grey, all of whom are loyal to Edward and are killed at Pomfret Castle. At the Tower of London, Richard III has Hastings beheaded for "treason." Now without Lords to defend them, Richard III has Buckingham spread rumours that King Edward IV and his children are all illegitimate. Richard arranges to be publicly offered the crown which he pretends to be reluctant to take...

Needing to strengthen his claim as King, Richard III decides to remove the threat of Edward IV's offspring. Unfortunately even the ever loyal Buckingham can't conscionably kill two children. Richard therefore has Tyrell kill the boys, and now finds little use for Buckingham... Anne mysteriously vanishes allowing Richard to pursue Elizabeth, his niece and the daughter of the late King Edward IV. However Elizabeth has arranged to marry the Earl of Richmond instead. Richmond is leading an army in France intent on fighting Richard. Buckingham, no longer able to find favor with Richard, joins Richmond. Unfortunately for Buckingham, floods cause chaos in his army, resulting in his capture and execution by Richard. Meanwhile Richmond crosses the Channel and heads for London. Both armies gather near Bosworth Field. The night before battle, all those Richard has killed, come to see him as ghosts, foretelling his doom... These same ghosts wish Richmond all the best. In battle, Richard is thrown from his horse. Amid the slaughter and chaos, Richmond meets Richard III, Richmond killing the tyrant. On the battlefield, Richmond is crowned King Henry VII. The York line of Kings is dead and with it the War of the Roses when King Henry VII (Lancaster) marries Elizabeth (Edward IV's daughter, a York).


Dramatis Personæ

Act I
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV

Act II
Scene I,
Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV

Scene I, Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV, Scene V, Scene VI, Scene VII

Act IV
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV, Scene V

Act V
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV

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