Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter one CITIZEN at one door, and another at the other
Two CITIZENS enter through different doors.

FIRST CITIZEN

Good morrow, neighbor, whither away so fast?

FIRST CITIZEN

Good morrow, neighbor, whither away so fast?

SECOND CITIZEN

I promise you I scarcely know myself.
Hear you the news abroad?

SECOND CITIZEN

I’m telling you, I hardly know myself. Did you hear the news that’s going around?

FIRST CITIZEN

Yes, that the king is dead.

FIRST CITIZEN

Yes, that the king is dead.

SECOND CITIZEN

5Ill news, by 'r Lady. Seldom comes the better.
I fear, I fear, ’twill prove a giddy world.

SECOND CITIZEN

Bad news, by God. The news is always bad. But this news is bound to make the world go mad.
Enter THIRD CITIZEN
A THIRD CITIZEN enters.

THIRD CITIZEN

Neighbors, God speed.

THIRD CITIZEN

Neighbors, hello.

FIRST CITIZEN

     Give you good morrow, sir.

FIRST CITIZEN

Good day to you, sir.

THIRD CITIZEN

Doth this news hold of good King Edward’s death?

THIRD CITIZEN

Is it true that good King Edward has died?

SECOND CITIZEN

10Ay, sir, it is too true, God help the while.

SECOND CITIZEN

Yes, sir, it’s all too true, God help us.

THIRD CITIZEN

Then, masters, look to see a troublous world.

THIRD CITIZEN

Then, gentlemen, we can count on trouble.

FIRST CITIZEN

No, no, by God’s good grace, his son shall reign.

FIRST CITIZEN

No, no, with God’s help, his son will be king.

THIRD CITIZEN

Woe to the land that’s governed by a child.

THIRD CITIZEN

It’s bad news when a country is ruled by a child.

SECOND CITIZEN

In him there is a hope of government,
15Which, in his nonage, council under him,
And, in his full and ripened years, himself,
No doubt shall then, and till then, govern well.

SECOND CITIZEN

His counselors will govern as long as he’s a minor, and then he’ll take over. It shouldn’t go so badly.