Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 2

page Act 1 Scene 2 Page 7

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ANNE

125Thou wast the cause and most accursed effect.

ANNE

You’re both those people—responsible for both cause and effect.

RICHARD

Your beauty was the cause of that effect—
Your beauty, that did haunt me in my sleep
To undertake the death of all the world,
So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom.

RICHARD

Your beauty caused what I did. It haunted me in my sleep. I would have killed the whole world just to be able spend one hour next to you.

ANNE

130If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide,
These nails should rend that beauty from my cheeks.

ANNE

If I believed you, murderer, I would take my nails and scratch that beauty right off my cheeks.

RICHARD

These eyes could never endure that beauty’s wrack.
You should not blemish it, if I stood by.
As all the world is cheerèd by the sun,
135So I by that. It is my day, my life.

RICHARD

I couldn’t stand to see you destroy your beauty; you won’t touch it as long as I’m standing next to you. Just as everyone becomes cheerful from the sun, I’m cheered up by your looks. They are my daylight, my life.

ANNE

Black night o'ershade thy day, and death thy life.

ANNE

Then I hope night shadows your day, and death takes your life!

RICHARD

Curse not thyself, fair creature; thou art both.

RICHARD

Don’t damn yourself. You, fair lady, are both my day and my life.

ANNE

I would I were, to be revenged on thee.

ANNE

I wish I were, so I could deprive you of both day and life.

RICHARD

It is a quarrel most unnatural
140To be revenged on him that loveth thee.

RICHARD

It’s strange that you want to take revenge on the person who loves you.

ANNE

It is a quarrel just and reasonable
To be revenged on him that killed my husband.

ANNE

It’s just and reasonable that I want to take revenge on the person who killed my husband.

RICHARD

He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband
Did it to help thee to a better husband.

RICHARD

The man who killed your husband, dear lady, only did it to help you get a better husband.

ANNE

145His better doth not breathe upon the earth.

ANNE

There is no better one on earth.