Act III, Scene 1
Bolingbroke sentences Bushy and Green to death. He wouldn’t even bother telling them why, but he doesn’t want anyone thinking that he killed them unjustly. So, he explains that they lead the King astray and stole his attention so often that they actually came between him and his Queen. Then, of course, they drove a wedge between Bolingbroke and the King to get him banished, and then they encouraged the break up of his estates. Bushy and Green don’t bother saying much of anything in their defense and are escorted off by Northumberland.
Henry turns his attention to York and asks him to send Henry’s good will to the Queen, who is staying at York’s house. York has already sent letters on Bolingbroke’s behalf.
Bolingbroke is now prepared to fight with Glendower.
Act III, Scene 3
Richard lands in England. He is happy to see his Kingdom and hopes that the very land itself will help him defeat the rebellion. The Bishop of Carlisle assures him that he will be victorious. Aumerle is more tentative though. Bolingbroke has quite the following now. Richard, however, is very confident. He believes fully that God himself is on Richard’s side and so he cannot lose.
This is when Salisbury informs him that all of the men who he had recruited to help have either fled to Bolingbroke or just gone home. They all thought Richard was dead. Richard grew pale at this news, but Aumerle reminds him that he’s King and then he feels much better.
Scroop enters with some dismal news. Richard welcomes it. He is ready for anything. No puny subject can take him down. Scroop informs him that Bolingbroke has marched across the country with young and old joining him. Richard asks what has happened to all of his allies. Scroop says they have made peace with Bolingbroke. The King is immediately filled with rage and curses his friends. Scroop then informs him that they are actually dead.
Aumerle asks about his father, the Duke of York. Richard doesn’t think it really matters because all he has been getting is bad news. He might as well sit on the ground and give up. The Bishop of Carlisle tells him not to give up. Aumerle tells the King to use York to fight for him. Richard agrees that this is the best option and asks about York. Scroop regretfully informs him that York has joined with Bolingbroke.
At this point, Richard loses all hope. He resigns himself to wallow away at Flint Castle and warns anyone against trying to comfort him again.
Act III, Scene 3
Bolingbroke reflects on all of the bad news we heard last scene, which is, of course, all good news to him. York objects when Northumberland does not say “King” before Richard. Northumberland scoffs at this, but York is insistent that they could lose their heads for such disrespect. Bolingbroke tries to intervene and York warns him not to assume heaven is on his side.
Percy comes out to inform Bolingbroke that the King is inside with everyone from the scene before. Henry sends a message to King Richard that all he wants is an end to his banishment and his inheritance restored. If he does not receive that, he will continue to wage war for it. He asks to meet with the King.
Richard comes to stand at the gate. First, he chastises Northumberland for not kneeling to him. Richard informs them that God will be exacting punishment for their treason. That every step they take is putting a curse upon their heads. Northumberland argues that what Henry is asking for is completely reasonable and he only took up arms against Richard after he took what was rightfully Henry’s. The King concedes this point and agrees to Henry’s demands. Northumberland leaves to deliver the news to Henry.
He questions his decision aloud with Aumerle, who confirms it was the right choice. Richard wishes he had never banished Henry. Richard realizes now that this means the end of his reign. That Henry will now be King. When Northumberland returns, he simply asks if Bolingbroke will let him live. Northumberland says that Henry wants to speak with Richard.
Richard comes down and Henry kneels before him. He tells Henry to get up because he is now above Richard in rank. Henry is confused by this because he just wants his inheritance. Richard is insistent that he has lost his crown.
Act III, Scene 4
The Queen and one of her ladies stroll through the garden. The Lady tries everything she can think of to cheer the Queen, but she is determined to be sad.
The Gardner enters and instructs the boy helping him to get to work cleaning up the garden. The boy wonders why they should bother keeping order in this garden when the whole kingdom has fallen into chaos. The Gardner tells him not to worry about it because all of the King’s favorites are now dead and Bolingbroke has taken the King captive. It’s only a matter of time before the King is deposed.
The Gardner was completely unaware that the Queen was there, but she makes her presence known real quick. She demands to know how he came about this news. He apologizes for being the one to break the news, but insists that it is true. She decides to head to England and curses the Gardner for delivering this news. Personally, I think this is pretty rude, but he seems understanding. He decides to plant some rue to commemorate the weeping queen.