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Richard III

Richard III


by William Shakespeare

Richard III Fate and Free Will Quotes

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

Quote #10

Cancel his bond of life, dear God, I plead,
That I may live to say, 'The dog is dead' (4.4.7)

There's plenty of evidence to suggest that everything that happens in the play is fated.  More specifically, the play suggests that events unfold according to divine providence.  When Queen Margaret calls on God's divine justice to punish Richard for all of his terrible deeds, the play suggests that Richard's grab for the throne and his fall from power have been predetermined by God.

Quote #11

O now let Richmond and Elizabeth,
The true succeeders of each royal house,
By God's fair ordinance conjoin together
And then, as we have ta'en the sacrament,
We will unite the white rose and the red:
Smile heaven upon this fair conjunction,
That long have frown'd upon their enmity!
What traitor hears me, and says not amen?
England hath long been mad, and scarr'd herself;
The brother blindly shed the brother's blood,
The father rashly slaughter'd his own son,
The son, compell'd, been butcher to the sire:
All this divided York and Lancaster (5.8.3) 

According to the newly crowned King Henry VII, his ascension to the throne is all part of a God's plan.  (Lots of English kings went around saying they were divinely appointed to the throne.)  So does that mean that Richard's rise and fall were also part of God's master plan?  If so, does this excuse his behavior?

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