Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 3

page Act 5 Scene 3 Page 9

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(to RICHARD) The last was I that helped thee to the crown;
180The last was I that felt thy tyranny.
O, in the battle think on Buckingham,
And die in terror of thy guiltiness.
Dream on, dream on, of bloody deeds and death.
Fainting, despair; despairing, yield thy breath.
185 (to RICHMOND) I died for hope ere I could lend thee aid,
But cheer thy heart, and be thou not dismayed.
God and good angels fight on Richmond’s side,
And Richard fall in height of all his pride.


(to RICHARD) I was the first to help you to the crown and the last to feel the effects of your tyranny. Think of Buckingham when you’re fighting tomorrow, and die terrified of the sins you’ve committed! Tonight, dream of bloody deeds and death. Tomorrow, when you lose heart, fall into despair and then death. (to RICHMOND) I died before I could help you as I was hoping to. But be cheerful and don’t worry. God and good angels fight on your side, and Richard will fall at the height of his false pride.
He exits.
RICHARD starts out of his dream
RICHARD starts up out of his dream.


Give me another horse! Bind up my wounds!
190Have mercy, Jesu!—Soft, I did but dream.
O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!
The lights burn blue. It is now dead midnight.
Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.
What do I fear? Myself? There’s none else by.
195Richard loves Richard; that is, I and I.
Is there a murderer here? No. Yes, I am.
Then fly! What, from myself? Great reason why:
Lest I revenge. What, myself upon myself?
Alack, I love myself. Wherefore? For any good
200That I myself have done unto myself?
O, no! Alas, I rather hate myself
For hateful deeds committed by myself.
I am a villain. Yet I lie. I am not.
Fool, of thyself speak well. Fool, do not flatter.


Give me another horse! Bandage my wounds! Have mercy, Jesus!—Wait, I was only dreaming. Oh cowardly conscience, how you’re torturing me! The candles burn blue—that means it’s the dead of night. I’m sweating and trembling with fear. But what am I afraid of? Myself? There’s no one else here. Richard loves Richard, that is, there’s just me and myself here. Is there a murderer here? No. Yes, I am. Then run away. What, from myself? Yes, to avoid taking revenge on myself. Unfortunately, I love myself. Why? Did I do anything good to myself? Oh, no. Alas, I hate myself instead, because of the hateful deeds I’ve committed. I am a villain. But I’m lying; I’m not a villain. Fool, speak well of yourself. Fool, do not flatter yourself.