When the scene starts off, we have all the ladies gathered, none at this time know that the princes have been slain, Richard is King or that Anne is about to be made his wife. It is from a slip by Brakenbury that they learn what fate holds for them.
I find it interesting that there is not a set scene for the coronation. We merely see Richard as king–the audience misses out on the pomp and circumstance. I think this is actually quite fitting. Ceremony is the physical embodiment (in action) that expresses an idea. Graduations represent endings. Weddings represent two becoming one flesh. Coronations represent someone coming into the throne to properly guide a country. Too bad this is a country soaked in blood–it’s all too fitting there is no ceremony.
At the end of scene two, Buckingham realizes that he’s really of nothing to Richard, and gets ready to take off.
The Literature in me wants to turn the topic to the idea of conversation at the end of this scene. Comedies tend to hold everything in conversation, tragedies tend to be the long monologue that is never conductive to conversation. Buckingham realizes his relation to the king in the king’s complete lack of conversation–he’s basically talking to himself.
With the entrance of Margaret, we have the full list of the dead–lists show an expanse of something, this one shows how much blood England’s royalty is standing in. Everyone’s crying for revenge.
The act ends on the eve of war, and that is how I leave you.
Act III–Body count: 6 and Richard is to be crowned.
I want to address a few things (in the form I love most, lists!) briefly.
The opening scene with Prince Edward. He’s brilliant, that’s a given, but he speaks of two things, primarily. Julius Caesar and the distinction of how wit and fame lead to immortality. Just to throw it out there–he’s famous for the ‘Princes in the Tower’ story and the play itself is named after an infamous king. Perhaps a little relevant?
Religious looks vs. Actions. (the inner heart vs. outward actions is almost the key theme in this play, but this is the easiest pin-point example I can find in a brief time-frame…also, most of the language regarding actions are religious in this play–some food for thought) Look at Hastings. What does he say when he’s about to face death? His reconciliation. Yet, you never hear him stating “By Saint Paul” or “Mother of our Lord.” That comes from two men–ol’ Dick and Buckingham.
Scene VI: Just the Scrivener! Now, I love a good scrivener, who doesn’t? His last words sound alike in pitch to the scene in the previous act with the citizens–“Bad is the world, and all will come to naught/When such ill-dealing must be seen in thought.” (III.vi.13-14)–What, do you suppose, does it mean to see in thought? (I’m thinking the entire action of this play may be the answer)
Notice there are no women in this act.
Everyone who’s about to die reference good ol’ Margaret