Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

DUCHESS

Accursèd and unquiet wrangling days,
How many of you have mine eyes beheld?
My husband lost his life to get the crown,
60And often up and down my sons were tossed
For me to joy, and weep, their gain and loss.
And being seated, and domestic broils
Clean overblown, themselves the conquerors
Make war upon themselves, brother to brother,
65Blood to blood, self against self. O, preposterous
And frantic outrage, end thy damnèd spleen,
Or let me die, to look on death no more.

DUCHESS

How many times have I had to live through cursed times of violent struggle? My husband lost his life to get the crown, and my sons' fortunes have been tossed up and down, leaving me to rejoice over their victories and weep over their losses. And once one of them achieved the throne and had taken care of domestic quarrels, they made war among themselves. It’s a preposterous outrage. Let it end, or let me die so I won’t have to watch any more of it.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

(to YORK) Come, come, my boy. We will to sanctuary.
Madam, farewell.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

DUCHESS

   Stay, I will go with you

DUCHESS

Wait, I’ll go with you.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

70You have no cause.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

You have no reason to.

ARCHBISHOP

(to QUEEN ELIZABETH)
My gracious lady, go,
And thither bear your treasure and your goods.
For my part, I’ll resign unto your Grace
75The seal I keep; and so betide to me
As well I tender you and all of yours.
Go. I’ll conduct you to the sanctuary.

ARCHBISHOP

(to QUEEN ELIZABETH) My gracious lady, go, and take your money and

belongings

The archbishop had both religious and civic duties. By assigning the Seal to the queen, he’s suggesting that he will treat her, not her son (or her brother in-law Richard), as the lawful monarch. It’s not really the Archbishop’s role, though, to reassign the Seal. Only the king can do that.

belongings
with you. For my part, I’ll reassign the Great Seal of England to you and will take it upon myself to protect you. Come, I’ll conduct you to the sanctuary.
Exeunt
They all exit.