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Richard III Art and Culture Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Norton edition.

Quote #1

I am determined to prove a villain (1.1.1)

In his dramatic opening speech, Richard declares that he's hell-bent on being bad.  It almost sounds like he knows he's playing the part of a "villain" on stage, don't you think? 

Quote #2

Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
[...] I am subtle, false and treacherous (1.1.1)

Here Richard continues to use the language of the theater to describe his elaborate scheme to become king. He'll play the "villain" by devising "plots" and dangerous "inductions."  As you know, a "plot" is a scheme or plan – or the storyline of a play. An "induction" is an initial move or strategy and is also another word for a play's prologue. Basically, Richard is alerting us to the fact that he's going to behave like a stage-director as he lies, manipulates, and murders his way to the throne.

Quote #3

Was ever woman in this humour woo'd?
Was ever woman in this humour won? (1.2.60)

When Richard puts the moves on Lady Anne, we can't help but be impressed by his stunning performance.  After all, it takes serious chops to win the heart of a woman whose husband and father-in-law you've just murdered.  Here Richard turns to the audience and confesses that even he can hardly believe what he's just accomplished.  Richard can be charismatic, charming, and super convincing when he wants to – just like a skilled actor. 

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