© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Richard III Manipulation Quotes

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

Quote #7

GLOUCESTER. This is the fruits of rashness. Mark'd you not
How that the guilty kindred of the queen
Look'd pale when they did hear of Clarence' death?
O, they did urge it still unto the king!
God will revenge it. Come, lords, will you go
To comfort Edward with our company? (2.1.5)

It has literally only been minutes since the dying King Edward IV was able to seal up all the familial rifts with what will be his dying breaths. As soon as the news of Clarence's death comes out, Richard is able to undo all of Edward's good by casting aspersions on the queen's kin, suggesting that they were at the root of Edward's death. The irony is that the queen was the one who suggested that King Edward forgive Clarence. She wouldn't have done that if she'd been behind his death...though that's the kind of thing Richard might do.

Quote #8

You are too senseless-obstinate, my lord,
Too ceremonious and traditional.
Weigh it but with the grossness of this age,
You break not sanctuary in seizing him.
The benefit thereof is always granted
To those whose dealings have deserv'd the place
And those who have the wit to claim the place.
This Prince hath neither claim'd it nor deserv'd it,
And therefore, in mine opinion, cannot have it.
Then, taking him from thence that is not there,
You break no privilege nor charter there.
Oft have I heard of sanctuary men;
But sanctuary children never till now. (3.1.4)

Like Richard, Buckingham is a master of manipulation. Here he argues about breaking the sanctity of sanctuary in a church. He even sounds pretty earnest about it, which makes you wonder to what extent Buckingham is aware of Richard's evil. By the logic he uses here, it seems Buckingham has learned how to justify anything. Also, the fact that Buckingham takes the time to rationalize and justify things makes him different from Richard, who never needs an excuse to do the unthinkable.

Quote #9

I say, without characters, fame lives long.
[Aside]  Thus, like the formal vice, Iniquity,
I moralize two meanings in one word. (3.1.6)

Richard compares himself to the theatrical device "Iniquity," which was a stock character in 16th century morality plays to encompass all of the vices. This is an explicit hint that Richard views himself as a talented actor who can play many roles. He approaches his life as a play, and he is both actor and narrator. Perhaps this is why he doesn't anticipate his miserable end.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...