Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

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Modern Text

Enter BUCKINGHAM with SHERIFF and halberds, led to execution
BUCKINGHAM enters with SHERIFF and guards leading him to his execution.
Will not King Richard let me speak with him?
Won’t King Richard let me speak with him?
No, my good lord. Therefore be patient.
No, my good lord. So be calm.
Hastings and Edward’s children, Grey and Rivers,
Holy King Henry and thy fair son Edward,
5Vaughan, and all that have miscarrièd
By underhand, corrupted, foul injustice,
If that your moody, discontented souls
Do through the clouds behold this present hour,
Even for revenge mock my destruction.—
10This is All Souls' Day, fellow, is it not?
Hastings and Edward’s children, Rivers and Grey, holy King Henry and your fine son Edward, Vaughan, and all who have died from underhanded, corrupt, fiendish injustice, if your angry souls are witnessing this moment through the clouds, enjoy the revenge—laugh at my ruin! This is


A Catholic day of prayer for souls stuck in between Heaven and Hell

day, fellows, isn’t it?
It is.
It is, my lord.
Why, then All Souls' Day is my body’s doomsday.
This is the day which, in King Edward’s time,
I wished might fall on me when I was found
15False to his children and his wife’s allies.
This is the day wherein I wished to fall
By the false faith of him who most I trusted.
This, this All Souls' Day to my fearful soul
Is the determined respite of my wrongs.
20That high All-seer which I dallied with
Hath turned my feignèd prayer on my head
And given in earnest what I begged in jest.
Why, then, it’s my body’s doomsday. Today I’m going to get what I said I wished would happen to me if I was ever false to King Edward’s children or his wife’s allies. This is the day I’m going to get what I wished for when I wished that the person I most trusted would betray me. This, this All-Souls' day, is my just desserts. I tried to play games with God, and he turned my fake prayer on my head, giving me for real what I’d asked for as a joke.

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