Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Exit CATESBY
CATESBY exits.
(aside) I must be married to my brother’s daughter,
Or else my kingdom stands on brittle glass.
Murder her brothers, and then marry her—
65Uncertain way of gain. But I am in
So far in blood that sin will pluck on sin.
Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye.
(to himself) I must get married to my brother’s

daughter

Elizabeth of York, daughter of Queen Elizabeth and King Edward. She later married Henry Tudor, earl of Richmond. She was the grandmother of Elizabeth I and considered by Elizabethans to mark the start of the Tudor reign.

daughter
. Otherwise, my kingdom stands on glass. Murdering her brothers and then marrying her isn’t the most foolproof way to secure my position. But I’m steeped so deep in blood by now that one sin has to follow the next. I have no tears of pity for anyone.
Enter PAGE with TYRREL
The PAGE returns with TYRREL.
Is thy name Tyrrel?
Are you Tyrrel?

TYRREL

James Tyrrel, and your most obedient subject.

TYRREL

James Tyrrel—and your most obedient subject.

RICHARD

70Art thou indeed?

RICHARD

Are you indeed?

TYRREL

     Prove me, my gracious sovereign.

TYRREL

Test me, my blessed king.

RICHARD

Dar’st thou resolve to kill a friend of mine?

RICHARD

Do you dare kill a friend of mine?

TYRREL

Please you. But I had rather kill two enemies.

TYRREL

Yes, my lord, but I’d rather kill two enemies.

RICHARD

Why then, thou hast it. Two deep enemies,
Foes to my rest, and my sweet sleep’s disturbers,
75Are they that I would have thee deal upon.
Tyrrel, I mean those bastards in the Tower.

RICHARD

Well, that’s what you get to do. Two great enemies, in fact, enemies to my peace of mind. Tyrrel, I mean those bastards in the Tower.

TYRREL

Let me have open means to come to them,
And soon I’ll rid you from the fear of them.

TYRREL

Give me access to them, and soon you won’t have to worry about them anymore.

RICHARD

Thou sing’st sweet music. Hark, come hither, Tyrrel.

RICHARD

That’s music to my ears. Come here, Tyrrel.
TYRREL approaches RICHARD and kneels
TYRREL approaches RICHARD and kneels.
80Go, by this token. Rise, and lend thine ear.
By this token, you’ll be admitted to their cell. Get up and listen to me.