Monday, March 7, 2011

Richard III: Act 4, Scenes 1-3


another great day of relaxing and hanging out. we leave Alabama today for Tennessee to visit my best friend and her husband. it's going to be a Bachelor-ific kind of night. oh yeah. AND we are celebrating our Christmas today! ha! how awesome is that? i love this trip. i feel so blessed. and to have the time in the mornings before the day gets rolling to read Shakespeare in peace without worrying about the homework i need to turn in or the chores i need to do... it's basically perfect.

and perfect is the word i would use to describe this act. it is my favorite thus far. i can't even deal. SO GOOD.

act 4, scene 1 (i'm obsessed with this scene)
The women finally in one place. Elizabeth, Duchess of York, Anne, and Clarence's daughter all meet before the Tower of London. they want to see Elizabeth's children, but they aren't permitted to enter, by order of the king. king? who is the king, they ask? Richard. Richard is king. Elizabeth realizes the curse put on her by Margaret is coming true. (see quote below.) she sends her son Dorset (her son by Grey) away to safety. Anne gets the chance to redeem herself to the other women, and unwillingly goes off to her husband.

act 4, scene 2 (i am also obsessed with this scene.)
Richard loses his mind. he's on the throne, but extremely paranoid. he asks Buckingham to kill Elizabeth's two sons in the Tower. this is where Buckingham draws the line, and asks to go think about it.  Richard finds a man (Tyrrel) desperate enough to do the deed, and sends him off to kill them before Buckingham can return. Anne is sick, and he will marry Edward's daughter to ensure the throne will remain his. Buckingham re-enters and asks for what he was promised- the earldom of Hereford. Richard won't answer him, going on and on instead about the need to get rid of Richmond, the boy prophesied to be the next king.

act 4, scene 3
The children killed. Tyrrel got two killers to murder the children for him. even though they are 'fleshed villains, bloody dogs' they wept to kill the innocent boys. Tyrrel tells Richard he killed the kids, and saw them dead. Richard promises him whatever he wants. Anne is dead and Richard will marry young Elizabeth. as Richard goes to take care of Richmond, he learns that Buckingham has raised an army against him.

PHEW! this play is clipping right along. so exciting. i can't wait to see what happens next! i remember the basics of it, but i have idea who dies who wins who loses... this play is crazy amazing. everyone should read it.

let's keep up with Richard's death toll, shall we? so far: Prince Edward, young Richard, Clarence, Rivers, Grey, Vaughan, and Hastings. he is at least partially responsible for the deaths of Edward and Anne. 3 of these people are Elizabeth's daughters: Edward and Richard by King Edward, and Grey by Lord Grey. she has one son left by Grey (Dorset). i hope he makes it. and she has one daughter, right? Elizabeth? and Richard is trying to marry her. GROSS. Richard is 'not worried' about Clarence's son, apparently. i hope that comes back to bite him in the ass. and he's married off Clarence's daughter to some loser. can you believe all this?!?! he deserves the worst, and i can't wait to see Shakespeare give it to him.

i feel like the first scene of the act could easily be lost if not played or directed with care. does anyone have experience with this scene that they could share with us?

quote of the day:
'o Dorset, speak not to me. get thee gone!
death and destruction dogs thee at thy heels;
thy mother's name is ominous to children.
if thou wilt outstrip death, go cross the seas
and live with Richmond, from the reach of hell.
go, hie thee, hie thee from this slaughterhouse,
lest thou increase the number of the dead
and make me die the thrall of Margaret's curse,
nor mother, wife, nor England's counted queen.'
     -Elizabeth; act 4, scene 1

for tomorrow: act 4, scenes 4 & 5

-rebecca may


  1. During our tour of the Tower of London, the yeoman warder guide talked about children's bones under one of the stairways, suggesting they belonged to these boys.