Richard III Act 5

Scene 1

Buckingham is led to his death, but is not allowed to speak with Richard. He reflects on all those who have been killed before him. There are a lot: Hastings, the two Princes, Rivers, Grey, King Henry and his son, Vaughan… He doesn’t even mention Clarence. He thinks they’re probably laughing at him. He always figured he would be taken out by Edward when he found out that Buckingham was actively working against him, but no. He remembers Margaret’s curse before he is taken to the chopping block.

Scene 2

Richmond, a.k.a. Henry Tudor, reads a letter from his father that calls Richard all sorts of names before telling his son where Richard is. Fortunately, Richard is only one day’s march away. They predict his “friends” will abandon him because Richard is pretty much the worst.

Scene 3

This giant scene is broken up into a bunch of mini scenes where Richard and Richmond mirror each other from across the battlefield. The first few mini scenes serve to establish who is on either side. On Richard’s side we have: Norfolk, Surrey, Catesby, Ratcliff, and Northumberland. However, Richard is being pretty rude and constantly doubts everyone’s loyalty. Fighting for Richmond are: Sir William Brandon, the Lord of Oxford, Sor Walte Herbert, the Earl of Pembroke, and Derby. Lord Stanley is a half mile off pretending to be with Richard because Richard still has his other son.

They both go to sleep which kicks off the ghost parade. Everyone Richard ever killed shows up to curse Richard and then wish Richmond well. They all say slightly different words, but it’s all the same sentiment. First is Edward, Henry VI’s son. Second is Henry VI himself. Then, Clarence followed by Rivers, Grey, and Vaughn. Next is Hastings, then Lady Anne. Finally, Buckingham shows up. The ghost parade ends and Richard wakes up. He is completely freaked out and questions everyone’s loyalty even more than he already was. He realizes that no one loves him. Ratcliff tries to calm him.

Richmond wakes up well rested from a wonderful “dream” where a bunch of dead people wished him well. He goes out to rally his troops. He gives them a rousing speech where he tells them to fight for their country, for their wives, and their children. To fight for them and return home champions.

Cranky Richard gives a similar speech, but it’s not quite as inspiring. It mostly tells them to fight for him because Richmond and his men are coming in to kill their children and rape their wives…not quite the same.

Oh, and it turns out Stanley isn’t coming to help Richard. Who knew?!

Scene 4

“A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!”

Scene 5

Richmond beats Richard and confirms his brother, Stanley’s other son, is still alive. Then he gives a victory speech where he explains that he will marry Elizabeth and start a dynasty that will bring years of peace to England. The Tudor dynasty.

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