Richard III: Act I, Scene ii, Facing Page


Richard III.         Act 1, Scene 2.             Richard

(This text is featured in our interview with Luke Forbes and Winnie Lok)

(Click here to see the original version of this speech)

(Click here to see a scanned version of the speech)

Has anyone ever courted a woman in this state of mind? And has anyone ever won her, as I’ve done? I’ll get her, but I won’t keep her long. What! I, who killed her husband and his father, managed to win her over when her hatred for me was strongest, while she’s swearing her head off, sobbing her eyes out, and the bloody corpse, proof of why she should hate me, right in front of her? She has God, her conscience, and my own acts against me, and I have nothing on my side but the ugly devil and my false looks. And yet, against all odds, I win her over! Ha! Has she already forgotten her brave husband, Prince Edward, whom I stabbed on the battlefield three months ago in my anger? The world will never again produce such a sweet, lovely gentleman. He was graced with lots of natural gifts, he was young, valiant, wise, and no doubt meant to be king. And yet she cheapens herself by turning her gaze on me, who cut her sweet prince’s life short and made her a widow? On me, though I am barely half the man that Edward was? On me, though I am limping and deformed? I bet I’ve been wrong about myself all this time. Even though I don’t see it, this lady thinks I’m a marvelously good-looking man. Time to buy myself a mirror and employ a few dozen tailors to dress me up in the current fashions. Since I’m suddenly all the rage, it will be worth the cost. But first, I’ll dump this fellow in his grave, then return to my love weeping with grief. Come out, beautiful sun—until I’ve bought a mirror to admire my reflection in, I’ll watch my shadow as I stroll along.

  One Response to “Richard III: Act I, Scene ii, Facing Page”

  1. I don’t see the point.. It doesn’t have a tenth, no a hundreth, of the impact of the original text. If you’re gloing to rewrite something it’s got to be better, not worse.

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