Quotes

Richard III/#1/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of
York.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 1-2.
Richard to himself.  Richard was the third son of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York (York). York’s parents were descendants of Edward III’s third and fifth sons, providing him with a legitimate claim on England’s crown. But Henry IV and Henry V, both descendants of Edward III’s fourth son, had effectively blocked York from securing England’s crown. Early in the last play, a young Lord Clifford, a man close to Henry VI and his queen Margaret, had stabbed to death a captured York. Late in the last play, Richard, York’s third son, had murdered Henry VI in the Tower of London. Richard was born mal-formed. His sinister, single-minded, laser-focused, at-all-costs objective was to become king. With Henry VI out of the way, Richard visualizes his path to the crown, but it’s no easy path. But with Henry VI out of the way, Richard is confident he can reach his goal. Shakespeare opens the play with this quote.

Richard III/#2/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “O, the king hath kept an evil diet, and overmuch consumed his royal
person.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 143-144.  Richard to Lord Hastings.  Hastings, a close adviser to the Plantagenet brothers, Richard being the third, has let Richard know that the king (Edward IV), the oldest of the Plantagenet brothers, is “sickly and weak” and that “his physicians fear him mightily.” Richard offers Hastings this quote. When Hastings exits, Richard tells us “Edward must not die before Clarence dies, and “when done, God take King Edward to His mercy, and leave the world for me to bustle in.” Clarence is the Plantagenet brother between Edward and Richard.

Richard III/#3/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “This hand, which for thy love did kill thy love, shall for thy love kill a far
truer love.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 208-209.  Richard
to Anne.  Lady Anne was the widow of Prince Edward; Prince Edward was the only child of Henry VI and Queen Margaret. Difficult as it is to believe, the ever smooth-talking Richard, having convinced Anne that he killed her husband (Prince Edward) in order to offer to her himself as a better husband, offers to kill himself; she having earlier said “I wish thy death.” That’s the quote. Richard asks her if he is “to live with hope.” She doesn’t say no. He places a ring on her finger.

Richard III/#4/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Was ever woman in this humor wooed?  Was
ever woman in this humor won?”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 247-248.  Richard
to himself.  Richard, who, as we say, has in the recent past killed both Lady Anne’s husband and her father-in-law (Henry VI), offers her his ring at St. Paul’s; she was there to mourn the death of Henry VI. She accepts his ring. As she leaves the casket holding Henry VI, she tells Richard to “go along with me.” Even hard-hearted Richard is surprised at her quick acceptance.

Richard III/#5/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “The world has grown so bad that wrens prey on others where eagles dare not
perch.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 3, Lines 71-72.  Richard to Elizabeth.  Elizabeth is Lady Grey, Edward IV’s queen. Richard has boldly insinuated that her sons (by her former marriage) and her brother are “complaining unto the King that I am stern and love them not.” The Lady Grey says the king is his own man. Attempting to demean her sons and brother, Richard offers this quote, going on to say “Since every Jack (common fellow) became a gentleman, there’s many a gentle person made a Jack.”

Richard III/#6/Quotes and Answers

Quote:  “Why strew’st thou sweet words on that humpbacked spider, whose deadly web
ensnareth thee about?”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 3, Lines 256-257.  Margaret to Elizabeth.  An extraordinarily angry ex-queen Margaret, Henry VI’s widow, having lashed out at Richard, warns Queen Elizabeth (Lady Grey) with this quote of Richard and his plans. She goes on to say to Elizabeth “Fool, fool, thou whet’st a knife to kill thyself.”

Richard III/#7/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Our eagle’s nest is buildeth in the cedar’s top, and abides the sharpest wind
and scorns the sun.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 3, Lines 281-282.  Richard to Margaret.  Having heard the former queen (Margaret) rip him up and then turn on Elizabeth and her brother and older sons, Richard stays aloof from the scorn, offering this quote. Margaret comes right back with “And turns the sun to shade.”

Richard III/#8/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “I will sigh and clothe my naked villainy with a piece of scripture and seem a
saint when most I play the devil.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 3, Lines 356-358.  Richard to himself.  The Machiavellian Richard tells us he will tell the court’s key aides that it was the Queen and “her allies” who turned his older brother, Edward IV, against Clarence. Richard is about to dispatch two murderers to kill his brother Clarence, Plantagenet brother number two.

Richard III/#9/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Princes have but their titles for their glories, an outward honor for an
inward toil.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 4, Lines 80-81.  Brakenbury to Keeper.  Clarence has fallen asleep. He’s a prisoner in London’s Tower. Two Murderers are about to enter. Shakespeare, through Brakenbury, the Lieutenant of the Tower, lets us know that death is near for Clarence. Brakenbury offers this quote, followed with “between Princes titles and their status as a commoner, there’s nothing differs but the outward fame.”

Richard III/#10/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “The great King of kings hath in the table of His law commanded that thou shalt
do no murder.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 4, Lines 201-203. Clarence to the
Murderers.  The Murderers have told Clarence that the king has commanded they murder him. Clarence offers this quote. He goes on to say “Spurn at His edict and fulfill a man’s? Take heed, for He holds vengeance in His hand to hurl upon their heads that break His law.” In time, one Murderer walks away; the other doesn’t. Clarence is murdered.