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 Richard III Study Guide (Choose to Continue)

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Richard III: Novel Summary: Act 5 Scene 5

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Act 5, scene 5

Richard and Richmond enter. They fight, and Richard is killed.

Richmond announces victory. Stanley congratulates him and also says that young George Stanley is alive and safe in Leicester. Richmond promises to unite the two warring houses of York and Lancaster. In part this will be accomplished by Richmond’s marriage to Elizabeth. He looks forward to peace in the kingdom.

 

Analysis

In his final speech Richmond evokes the horror of civil war that has afflicted the kingdom for so long. He is determined to put an end to it and inaugurate a new era of peace. After the Battle of Bosworth Field Richmond was crowned Henry VII. Richmond’s speech here is a reflection of what is known as the Tudor view of history. The historians of the Tudor period that Henry VII inaugurated viewed him as a savior sent by God to rescue the nation from civil war. Building Henry VII and his successors up in this way, they also denigrated Richard III, presenting him as evil beyond redemption, a view Shakespeare followed in this play. 




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