Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, head of the Yorkist party, is the same character as in Henry VI, Part One and Part Two.
Victorious in battle, he is able to impose his will on King Henry, though rather than simply take the crown he agrees to let Henry reign for the rest of his life, on the understanding that York’s family will succeed – and for that matter be the true rulers of England during the rest of Henry’s life. He is however easily convinced by his sons to break the oath he has sworn and attempt to dethrone Henry again. Over-confident in military victory, he is beaten and captured by Queen Margaret. He is at first silent under her torments, denying her the satisfaction of seeing him broken, but he cannot endure this forever, and in the ends spits out his rage, hatred and grief at Margaret and Clifford, bringing Northumberland to the verge of tears. Proud and deeply ambitious, he also loves his family deeply, particularly his youngest son Rutland, whose death breaks his spirit. He is particularly close to his son Richard.