Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 2

page Act 1 Scene 2 Page 3

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ANNE

(to gentlemen and halberds)
What, do you tremble? Are you all afraid?
45Alas, I blame you not, for you are mortal,
And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.—
Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell.
Thou hadst but power over his mortal body;
His soul thou canst not have. Therefore begone.

ANNE

(to the gentlemen and guards) What, are you trembling? You’re all afraid of him? Well, I can’t blame you. You’re only human, after all, and mortals can’t stand to look at the devil. (to RICHARD) Begone, you dreadful servant of hell. You only had power over my father-in-law’s body; you can’t have his soul. So get out.

RICHARD

50Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.

RICHARD

Sweet saint, for goodness’s sake, don’t be so angry.

ANNE

Foul devil, for God’s sake, hence, and trouble us not,
For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell,
Filled it with cursing cries and deep exclaims.
If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
55Behold this pattern of thy butcheries.

ANNE

Ugly devil, for God’s sake, get out of here and leave us alone. You have made the happy world into your hell, filling it with cursing cries and lamentations. If you enjoy looking at your awful deeds, take a look at this noteworthy example of your butcheries.
She points to the corse
She points to the corpse.
O, gentlemen, see, see dead Henry’s wounds
Open their congealed mouths and bleed afresh!—
Blush, blush, thou lump of foul deformity,
For ’tis thy presence that exhales this blood
60From cold and empty veins where no blood dwells.
Thy deeds, inhuman and unnatural,
Provokes this deluge most unnatural.—
O God, which this blood mad’st, revenge his death!
O earth, which this blood drink’st revenge his death!
65Either heaven with lightning strike the murderer dead,
Or earth gape open wide and eat him quick,
As thou dost swallow up this good king’s blood,
Which his hell-governed arm hath butcherèd!
Oh, gentlemen, look, look! Dead Henry’s wounds have opened up and are bleeding again! —Shame on you, you deformed lump. It’s your presence that draws out this blood from his empty veins. Your inhuman and unnatural actions have provoked this unnatural flood of blood. Oh God, who made this blood, revenge his death! Oh earth, which soaks up this blood, revenge his death! Either let heaven send lightning to strike the murderer dead or let the earth open wide and devour him, as it does this good king’s blood.