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Richard III Act 4, Scene 3 Summary

  • Tyrrell, the murderer, arrives back at the palace in London and reports that the two princes are dead.
  • Tyrrell says he feels guilty and explains that he hired two hit men, Dighton and Forrest, to smother the kids in their sleep.  Even the hit men felt bad about offing two little kids.
  • Richard thinks this is the best news he's ever heard.
  • Tyrrell reports that he saw the kids and is certain they're dead, though he doesn't know where they're buried.
  • (Brain Snack: The real historical mystery of what happened to the little boys is still unsolved, and it's unclear who really murdered the princes.)
  • Richard promises to reward Tyrrell handsomely.
  • In his usual style of giving the audience useful information, Richard fills us in: he's imprisoned Clarence's young son, married off Clarence's daughter to some harmless guy, and killed Edward's sons. Oh, and his wife Anne is dead. (What?! Yeah, that's all we get about Anne. Historically, the circumstances surrounding the actual Lady Anne's death are unclear.)
  • Richard reveals that he knows Richmond is also after young Elizabeth's hand (remember Edward's random daughter that Richard wants to marry?). Richard declares he'll be off to woo Elizabeth for himself.
  • Ratcliffe (who, as his name suggests, is like a rodent for still being allied to Richard) enters with the bad news that Morton Bishop of Ely has actually turned tail and joined Richmond's side. Buckingham is also waiting for Richard on the battlefield, backed by a horde of intimidating Welshmen.
  • Richard declares that Buckingham doesn't scare him, but this Richmond/Ely alliance is bad news.
  • Either way, Richard says he won't waste time lamenting.  He's ready to get his battle on. 

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