(1)1213 Level N English Richard III Teachers Introduction and Act 1

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Unformatted text preview: bably dying, and he starts making plans to become king himself. He lays a false trail which leads to his elder brother, George (known as Clarence), being arrested for treason and taken to the Tower of London. Richard pretends to be his friend, but actually arranges for George to be murdered while he is awaiting trial. He then plans to marry Lady Anne Neville, whose fiancé, the Lancastrian Prince Edward, he had previously killed. She tries to resist him, but he wins her over in the end, against her better judgment. When Clarence’s murder is discovered Richard starts a rumor that it was carried out by order of three members of the Queen’s family – Earl Rivers, the Marquess of Dorset and Lord Grey, because he wants to prevent them from getting between him and the crown. As soon as King Edward is dead he arranges for Rivers and Grey to be arrested and taken to Pomfret (modern Pontefract) Castle in Yorkshire. Richard then arranges for the new king, Edward V, who is thirteen years old, and his brother, Richard, to be taken to the Tower of London for safety until the coronation. While they are there he first spreads a rumor that they are illegitimate and then arranges for them to be murdered by Sir James Tyrrel. All the time he tries to present himself as a good, religious man who would make an excellent king. Richard has two important friends, the Lord Hastings and the Duke of Buckingham. Both have supported him up to this point, but Hastings does not agree with the spreading of rumors against Edward V. Because of this Richard feels he can no longer trust him. He has a warrant drawn up for his execution as a traitor. At the same time he ensures that Rivers and Grey are beheaded. Having now cleared his path to the throne Richard is crowned king, but he has already made countless enemies, and people have started to suspect him of being not everything he seems. Edward IV’s widow, Queen Elizabeth, helps Dorset to escape to Brittany, where Henry, Earl of Richmond is in hiding, gathering support for an invasion. Things quickly go downhill for Richard. His wife of two years, Anne, dies mysteriously, and his friend Buckingham, feeling that Richard has not rewarded him enough for his support, takes up arms against him and raises an army in Wales. Richard proposes an alliance between himself and Queen Elizabeth’s family by marrying his niece, her daughter Elizabeth. The old queen cannot bear the idea, but does not know how to refuse. News is quickly brought of a number of uprisings in the country and a fleet of ships in the English Channel commanded by Richmond. Buckingham’s army is destroyed, but Richmond and his army land successfully and unopposed at Milford Haven in South Wales. Richard has Buckingham executed for treason, but has then quickly to organize his army to tackle the advancing forces of Richmond, who has picked up support on his march out of Wales into England. The two armies meet at Market Bosworth in Leicestershire. Both make camp for the night and the two leaders, Richard and Richmond, go to sleep in their tents. As they sleep, a succession of ghosts appears to both of them. All are people whom Richard killed or had killed. Among them...
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This document was uploaded on 02/27/2014.

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