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Richard III

Please see the bottom of this page for full explanatory notes.

ACT V SCENE V Another part of the field. 
Alarum. Enter KING RICHARD III and RICHMOND; they fight and exeunt fighting. Retreat and flourish. Re-enter RICHMOND, STANLEY bearing the crown, with divers other Lords
RICHMONDGod and your arms be prais'd, victorious friends,
The day is ours, the bloody dog is dead.
DERBYCourageous Richmond, well hast thou acquit thee.
Lo, here, this long-usurped royalty
From the dead temples of this bloody wretch
Have I pluck'd off, to grace thy brows withal:
Wear it, enjoy it, and make much of it.
RICHMONDGreat God of heaven, say Amen to all!
But, tell me, is young George Stanley living?
DERBYHe is, my lord, and safe in Leicester town;10
Whither, if it please you, we may now withdraw us.
RICHMONDWhat men of name are slain on either side?
DERBYJohn Duke of Norfolk, Walter Lord Ferrers,
Sir Robert Brakenbury, and Sir William Brandon.
RICHMONDInter their bodies as becomes their births:
Proclaim a pardon to the soldiers fled
That in submission will return to us:

And then, as we have ta'en the sacrament,
We will unite the white rose and the red:
Smile heaven upon this fair conjunction,20
That long have frown'd upon their enmity!
What traitor hears me, and says not Amen?
England hath long been mad, and scarr'd herself;
The brother blindly shed the brother's blood,
The father rashly slaughter'd his own son,
The son, compell'd, been butcher to the sire:
All this divided York and Lancaster,
Divided in their dire division,
O, now, let Richmond and Elizabeth,
The true succeeders of each royal house,30
By God's fair ordinance conjoin together!
And let their heirs, God, if thy will be so.
Enrich the time to come with smooth-fac'd peace,
With smiling plenty and fair prosperous days!
Abate the edge of traitors, gracious Lord,
That would reduce these bloody days again,
And make poor England weep in streams of blood!
Let them not live to taste this land's increase
That would with treason wound this fair land's peace!
Now civil wounds are stopp'd, peace lives again:40
That she may long live here, God say amen!
[ Exeunt.

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Explanatory Notes for Act 5, Scene 5
From King Richard III. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark & Maynard.

Abbreviations. — A.-S. = Anglo-Saxon: M.E. = Middle English (from the 13th to the 15th century) ; Fr. = French ; Ger. = German ; Gr. = Greek ; Cf. = compare (Lat. confer) ; Abbott refers to the excellent Shakespearean Grammar of Dr. Abbott; Schmidt, to Dr. Schmidt's invaluable Shakespeare Lexicon.


4. Royalty, emblem of royalty, the crown.

13-14. Great license is taken with the meter, whenever a list of names occurs.

18. Ta'en the sacrament, sworn on the sacrament to do.

23. scarr'd, given herself scars or wounds.

35. Abate, dull or blunt.

36. Reduce, bring back.

How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. Richard III. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark & Maynard, 1886. Shakespeare Online. 20 Feb. 2014. < >.
How to cite the sidebar:
Mabillard, Amanda. Notes on Shakespeare. Shakespeare Online. 20 Feb. 2014. < >.
Abbott, Jacob. Richard III. New York: Harper, 1901.


More to Explore

 Richard III: Plot Summary
 Richard III: Q & A
 Famous Quotes from Richard III
 Shakespeare's Sources for Richard III

 Why Shakespeare is so Important
 Shakespeare's Language
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 Shakespeare's Power of Assimilation
 Preface to The First Folio
 Classification of Shakespeare's Work

 Shakespeare Q & A
 Shakespeare's Pathos
 Shakespeare's Portrayal of Youth
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 Shakespeare's Heroines
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Historical Notes on Richmond

"The royal crown which [Richard III] had worn so proudly into the battle was knocked from his head in the dreadful affray, and trampled in the dust. Lord Stanley, one of the chieftains who had abandoned Richard's cause and gone over to the enemy, picked up the crown, all battered and bloodstained as it was, and put it upon Richmond's head. From that hour Richmond was recognized as King of England. He reigned under the title of Henry the Seventh. The few followers that had remained faithful to Richard's cause up to this time now gave up the contest and fled. The victors lifted up the dead body of the king, took off the armor, and then placed the body across the back of a horse, behind a pursuivant-at-arms, who, thus mounted, rode a little behind the new king as he retired from the field of battle. Followed by this dreadful trophy of his victory, King Henry entered the town of Leicester in triumph. The body of Richard was exposed for three days, in a public place, to the view of all beholders, in order that every body might be satisfied that he was really dead, and then the new king proceeded by easy journeys to London. The people came out to meet him all along the way, receiving him every where with shouts and acclamations, and crying, 'King Henry! King Henry! Long live our sovereign lord. King Henry!'" (Jacob Abbott. Richard III. p. 332)

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