Original Text

Modern Text

They rise
They rise
Enter King RICHARD and his train, including CATESBY
King RICHARD enters, with his followers, including CASTEBY.

RICHARD

Who intercepts my expedition?

RICHARD

Who’s blocking the way?

DUCHESS

O, she that might have intercepted thee,
By strangling thee in her accursèd womb,
140From all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast done.

DUCHESS

The woman who might have blocked you from all the murders you’ve committed by strangling you in her cursed womb.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Hid’st thou that forehead with a golden crown
Where should be branded, if that right were right,
The slaughter of the prince that owed that crown
And the dire death of my poor sons and brothers?
145Tell me, thou villain-slave, where are my children?

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Are you hiding your forehead with a golden crown, when, if there was any justice in this world, it should be branded with the murders you committed—your slaughter of the prince who held that crown, and of my sons and my brothers? Tell me, you villainous lowlife, where are my children?

DUCHESS

Thou toad, thou toad, where is thy brother Clarence?
And little Ned Plantagenet his son?

DUCHESS

You toad, where is your brother Clarence and his son, little Ned Plantagenet?

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Where is gentle Rivers, Vaughan, Grey?

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Where are the noble Hastings, Rivers, Vaughan, Grey?

DUCHESS

Where is kind Hastings?

DUCHESS

Where is kind Hastings?

RICHARD

150A flourish, trumpets! Strike alarum, drums!
Let not the heavens hear these telltale women
Rail on the Lord’s anointed. Strike, I say!

RICHARD

Play, trumpets! A call to arms, drums! Don’t let the heavens hear these chattery women abuse the Lord’s anointed king. Play, I say!
Flourish. Alarums
Trumpet and drums play military music.
Either be patient and entreat me fair,
Or with the clamorous report of war
155Thus will I drown your exclamations.
Either be calm and polite or I’ll drown you out with the music of war.

DUCHESS

Art thou my son?

DUCHESS

Are you my son?