Complete works of William Shakespeare--Richard III

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Scene 1. Despite the end of England’s civil war, with Edward IV’s accession to the throne, his brother

Richard longs for power. Clarence, the second of the three brothers, is being escorted to the Tower;

Richard makes an empty promise to petition Edward on his behalf. Edward’s health is failing and

Richard reflects that since he is the youngest he will only win the crown if Clarence dies before


Scene 2. Richard finds the Lady Anne mourning over the body of Henry VI, whom he murdered,

shortly after killing Anne’s husband, Henry’s son, Prince Edward. At first she is abusive, but he insists

that he killed only in order to marry her and persuades her to accept his ring.

Scene 3. Richard accuses the Queen and her kin of turning the King against Clarence. Unobserved,

Henry VI’s widow Margaret watches with bitter satisfaction, before emerging to curse the Queen and

Richard. Richard organizes the murder of Clarence.

Scene 4. In the Tower, Clarence dreams that he has drowned and is accused of treachery by the ghosts

of those he has wronged. Using Richard’s commission, two murderers gain access to Clarence.

Despite his pleas for mercy he is killed and his body is dumped in a butt of malmsey wine.


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