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Richard III Betrayal Quotes

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

Quote #7

So dear I lov'd the man that I must weep.
I took him for the plainest harmless creature
That breath'd upon the earth a Christian;
Made him my book, wherein my soul recorded
The history of all her secret thoughts.
So smooth he daub'd his vice with show of virtue
That, his apparent open guilt omitted,
I mean his conversation with Shore's wife-
He liv'd from all attainder of suspects. (3.5.7)

Richard makes himself out to be the victim of betrayal by manipulation here.

Quote #8

And is it thus? Repays he my deep service
With such contempt? Made I him King for this?
O, let me think on Hastings, and be gone
To Brecknock while my fearful head is on! (4.2.19)

Buckingham is smart enough to realize he's out of Richard's favor (and what that might mean). But why is he so surprised when his service is repaid with contempt? We have to wonder why so many characters close to Richard fail to recognize the patterns in his behavior, namely the way he uses people then has them beheaded. Is it that these folks think they're impervious to Richard's betrayals? Do they think they're so close to Richard that they, unlike the others, really know his heart?

Quote #9

Most mighty sovereign,
You have no cause to hold my friendship doubtful.
I never was nor never will be false.
Go, then, and muster men. But leave behind
Your son, George Stanley. Look your heart be firm,
Or else his head's assurance is but frail.
So deal with him as I prove true to you. (4.4.10)

Stanley is under suspicion, and he chooses to take a great risk by leaving George Stanley with Richard. Richard, however, is over his manipulative games. Everyone else has been surprised by his betrayal, but both Stanley and Richard know their relationship is probably a hair's breadth from over. It seems the end might be near, as Richard is putting less and less effort into covering his quick suspicions and habit of betrayal. Is it really worth it for Stanley to bet his son's life on Richard's whims?

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