Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 3

page Act 1 Scene 3 Page 12

Original Text

Modern Text

QUEEN MARGARET

Foul shame upon you, you have all moved mine.

QUEEN MARGARET

Shame on you; I’ve already run out of patience with you all.

RIVERS

Were you well served, you would be taught your duty.

RIVERS

If you got what you deserved, you would learn some respect.

QUEEN MARGARET

255To serve me well, you all should do me duty:
Teach me to be your queen, and you my subjects.
O, serve me well, and teach yourselves that duty!

QUEEN MARGARET

What I deserve is that you treat me like a queen, and what you deserve is to act like my subjects. Give me what I deserve, and do your duty!

DORSET

(to RIVERS) Dispute not with her; she is lunatic.

DORSET

(to RIVERS) Don’t argue with her. She’s crazy.

QUEEN MARGARET

Peace, Master Marquess, you are malapert.
260Your fire-new stamp of honor is scarce current.
O, that your young nobility could judge
What ’twere to lose it and be miserable!
They that stand high have many blasts to shake them,
And if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces.

QUEEN MARGARET

Enough from you, mister, you’re being impertinent. Unlike those born into nobility, your claim to royalty is so recent that you hardly even know what it means to lose it. People in high positions are shaken by many blasts of wind, and when they fall, they shatter into pieces.

RICHARD

265Good counsel, marry. —Learn it, learn it, marquess.

RICHARD

Good advice, indeed. Take it to heart, Dorset.

DORSET

It touches you, my lord, as much as me.

DORSET

It applies to you as much as to me, my lord.

RICHARD

Ay, and much more; but I was born so high.
Our aerie buildeth in the cedar’s top,
And dallies with the wind and scorns the sun.

RICHARD

Yes, and much more so. But I was born that high. Like an eagle, which builds its nest at the top of a high tree, I play in the wind and am not afraid to look at the sun.

QUEEN MARGARET

270And turns the sun to shade. Alas, alas,
Witness my son, now in the shade of death,
Whose bright out-shining beams thy cloudy wrath
Hath in eternal darkness folded up.
Your aerie buildeth in our aerie’s nest.
275O God, that seest it, do not suffer it!
As it was won with blood, lost be it so.

QUEEN MARGARET

But you turn that sun into a shadow. Take my son, for example. He is dead now. You put out his bright life forever. You are building your nest in our nest. Oh God who’s watching, don’t let him get away with this! He won his position violently. Let him lose it that way, too.