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 Richard III Study Guide (Choose to Continue)

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Richard III: Novel Summary: Act 3 Scene 3

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Act 3, scene 3

At Pomfret Castle, Rivers, Grey, and Vaughan are led to their deaths. They all speak defiant words to Sir Richard Ratcliffe, who is supervising the executions. Rivers recalls that it was at the same castle that Richard II was murdered. Grey and Rivers recall the curse uttered by Margaret, Henry VI’s wife (this is a reference to Act 1, scene 3), on everyone who had wronged her, including them. Rivers implores God also to have vengeance on the others who were cursed by Margaret, including Richard, Buckingham, and Hastings.

 

Analysis

This is a small glimpse of one theme of the play, that of retribution. Rivers cannot know that Hastings will within a few days pay the same price as he, Rivers, is now paying. Ultimately, however, it is not the curse of one person that is worked out in the play, but the divine retribution that will eventually fall on Richard for his evil deeds (at least that is how Shakespeare will present it the resolution of the play). 




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