Richard III
Richard III
by William Shakespeare
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Richard III Act 3, Scene 2 Summary

  • Lord Hastings is sleeping peacefully at home when he's awoken by a messenger knocking loudly at his door at four in the morning.
  • The messenger brings news from Lord Stanley, who is a bit of a wreck. Stanley had a nightmare about a boar (Richard's heraldic symbol) that knocked off his helmet and cut off his head.
  • Stanley's also worried because he's gotten wind of the two councils to be held. He's worried that something terrible is going to happen and wants to run away to the north.
  • Hastings tells the messenger to tell Stanley to quit being a paranoid baby.  Even if there are two councils, their boy Catesby has got their back and will warn them if they're in danger.
  • Catesby enters with news that Richard wants the crown. Hastings is like, "over my dead body!"
  • Catesby says to himself, "You're as good as dead, have it your way."
  • Catesby also adds the news that some of the queen's family members are to be executed at Pomfret castle this very day. While Hastings is stoked to hear this news about his enemies, it's not enough to move him to support Richard in taking the crown from young Prince Edward.
  • Hastings can't quite bring himself to believe that Richard would harm his close friends.
  • He has a private chat with a public official empowered to serve warrants.
  • Hastings reveals that he's actually happy to gloat over the death of his enemies, the queen's family members. He sends the official off with some money and is then met by a priest, with whom he conducts some secret business.
  • Buckingham walks in on this whispered meeting and jokes that the guys scheduled for execution need the priest more than Hastings does (referring to the need to be absolved by a priest in confession before death).
  • In an aside, Buckingham clues us in to the fact that Hastings will be imprisoned and executed in the Tower of London.
  • The unsuspecting Hastings goes along with Buckingham to the Tower of London for dinner.
Next Page: Act 3, Scene 3
Previous Page: Act 3, Scene 1

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