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Richard III Act 2, Scene 4 Summary

  • At the palace in London, Queen Elizabeth chills out with the Duchess of York, the cardinal, and her young son, the Duke of York.
  • Everyone's excited and a little worried about little Prince Edward making it to the castle OK – who knows what could happen to him before he can be crowned King? 
  • Prince Edward's little brother, the Duke of York, jokes around with the adults and shows that he's a pretty sharp little kid. He tells his mom and grandmother that his Uncle Richard used to bag on him and tease him about growing like a weed.
  • The Duchess of York points out that Richard wasn't exactly a healthy child – he grew pretty slowly when he was young.
  • The little Duke of York says he heard that his Uncle Richard was born with teeth and Queen Elizabeth tells him to quit being a little brat – it's not nice to gossip about adults.
  • A messenger arrives with bad news: Lord Rivers, Lord Gray, and Sir Thomas Vaughn have been thrown in the slammer at Pomfret Castle. (Pomfret is the castle where King Richard II died.) 
  • Everyone knows this is bad news. Imprisonment there is usually just one step away from execution.
  • Guess who gave the orders for the arrests?  Richard (Duke of Gloucester) and Buckingham.
  • Elizabeth freaks out and predicts that her entire family is going down. 
  • The Duchess of York points out how terrible civil war is, especially when family members are willing to kill each other.
  • Elizabeth decides to take her youngest son, the Duke of York, and escape to sanctuary with him. She is given blessings and a seal from the Cardinal, who will lead her to safety.

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