King Richard III Notes.docx - King Richard III Notes Act 1...

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King Richard III Notes Act 1 Scene 1 Richard, the duke of Gloucester, speaks in a monologue addressed to himself and to the audience. Richard says that his older brother, King Edward IV, now sits on the throne, and everyone around Richard is involved in a great celebration. He complains that he was born deformed and ugly Richard has set in motion various schemes against the other noblemen of the court. The first victim is Richard’s own brother, Clarence. Richard and Clarence are the two younger brothers of the current king, Edward IV, who is very ill and highly suggestible at the moment. Richard’s rumor-planting has worked, and Clarence is being led to the Tower of London, pretending to be very sad to see Clarence made a prisoner, suggests to Clarence that King Edward must have been influenced by his wife, Queen Elizabeth, or by his mistress, Lady Shore, to become suspicious of Clarence. Lord Hastings, the lord Chamberlain of the court, now enters. After Hastings leaves, Richard gloats over Edward’s illness. ichard wants Clarence to die first, however, so that Richard will be the legal heir to power. Act 1 Scene 2 Lady Anne, the widow of King Henry VI’s son, Edward, enters the royal castle with a group of men bearing the coffin of Henry VI. She curses Richard for having killed Henry. Anne says that Richard is to blame for both deaths. She refers spitefully to her husband’s killer as she mourns for the dead king and prince, praying that any child Richard might have be deformed and sick, and that he make any woman he might marry be as miserable as Anne herself is. He addresses Anne gently, but she curses him as the murderer of her husband and father-in-law. Anne points to the bloody wounds on the corpse of the dead Henry VI, saying that they have started to bleed. Anne remains angry, but her fierceness seems to dwindle gradually in the face of Richard’s eloquence and apparent sincerity. Anne begins to stab toward his chest, but Richard keeps speaking, saying that he killed Henry IV and Edward out of passion for Anne herself Richard slips his ring onto her finger, telling her that she can make him happy only by forgiving him and becoming his wife. As soon as Richard is alone, he gleefully begins to celebrate his conquest of Anne.
He gloats over having won her even while her eyes were still filled with the tears of mourning, and over having manipulated her affections even though she hates him. Act 1 Scene 3 Queen Elizabeth, the wife of the sickly King Edward IV, enters with members of her family: her brother, Lord Rivers, and her two sons from a prior marriage, Lord Gray and the Marquis of Dorset. The king and queen have two sons, but the princes are still too young to rule. Elizabeth tells her kinsmen that Richard is hostile to her and that she fears for her safety and that of her sons.

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