© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Richard III Betrayal Quotes

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

Quote #4

The sum of all I can, I have disclos'd.
Why or for what the nobles were committed
Is all unknown to me, my gracious lord.
Ay me, I see the ruin of my house!
The tiger now hath seiz'd the gentle hind;
Insulting tyranny begins to jet
Upon the innocent and aweless throne.
Welcome, destruction, blood, and massacre!
I see, as in a map, the end of all. (2.4.5)

Queen Elizabeth learns that Richard has betrayed her family, causing her to predict some serious problems in the future. Elizabeth realizes Richard's move is the first of many that will work to destroy her whole house and life. Richard's betrayal is against her family, but she feels it for all of England.

Quote #5

And thereupon he sends you this good news,
That this same very day your enemies,
The kindred of the queen, must die at Pomfret.
Indeed, I am no mourner for that news,
Because they have been still my adversaries;
But that I'll give my voice on Richard's side
To bar my master's heirs in true descent,
God knows I will not do it to the death. (3.2.4)

Betrayal is a complicated matter. While Hastings hates the friends and family of the new King Edward (thinking they're complicit in his imprisonment), he can't betray Prince Edward. It's more important for him to honor the throne, and its rightful acquisition, than to follow his own pride, even though he knows he might be risking his life.

Quote #6

Come, cousin, canst thou quake and change
thy colour,
Murder thy breath in middle of a word,
And then again begin, and stop again,
As if thou were distraught and mad with terror?
Tut, I can counterfeit the deep tragedian;
Speak and look back, and pry on every side,
Tremble and start at wagging of a straw,
Intending deep suspicion. Ghastly looks
Are at my service, like enforced smiles;
And both are ready in their offices
At any time to grace my stratagems.  (3.5.1)

Buckingham is eager and willing to show Richard how well he can deceive and dissemble, but he doesn't seem to think about whether Richard will be loyal in return. Buckingham has heard how ready Richard was to kill his old friend Hastings, and he yet seems to have no fear about putting himself in Hastings's old position as confidante.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...