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Richard III Justice Quotes

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

Quote #13

GHOST OF BUCKINGHAM.  [To RICHARD]
The first was I that help'd
thee to the crown;
The last was I that felt thy tyranny.
O, in the battle think on Buckingham,
And die in terror of thy guiltiness!
Dream on, dream on of bloody deeds and death;
Fainting, despair; despairing, yield thy breath!
[To RICHMOND]  I died for hope ere I could lend thee aid;
But cheer thy heart and be thou not dismay'd:
God and good angels fight on Richmond's side;
And Richard falls in height of all his pride. (5.5.1)

Buckingham's speech echoes the speech of the other ghosts, condemning Richard and cheering on Richmond. Buckingham admits his own complicity in all of the crimes, even when he's dead – just as he owned up to all of his evils before death. Buckingham hopes for Richard to not just despair and die, but that he will face and know the consequences of his guiltiness. We might think this kind of curse would have no impact on Richard, who seems to think nothing of consequences. But it's the last speech Richard hears before he awakens and gives the only speech in the play that indicates his self-doubt. Potent stuff from the dead Buckingham.

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