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PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

Richard III Characters

Richard, Duke of York

Duke of York (Richard) is King Edward’s second son. He is a cheeky young thing, bright beyond his years, given to eavesdropping and not shy with his opinions. 

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Richard, Duke of Gloucester

Richard Duke of Gloucester, later King Richard III, is rather a nasty piece of work. Duplicitous, ambitious, murderous, and quite jolly about all of these things, he has been planning to take the crown for some time now (see Henry VI, Part Three). 

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Edward Plantagenet

Edward Plantagenet is the son of George Duke of Clarence, and is in his grandmother the Duchess of York’s keeping after Clarence’s arrest. 

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Henry, Earl of Richmond

Henry, Earl of Richmond is the grown-up Richmond of Henry VI, Part Three, Lord Stanley’s stepson and the next heir in blood of the Lancastrian cause. 

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Cardinal Bourchier

Cardinal Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbur, accompanies Prince Edward to London, and then goes to help convince Queen Elizabeth to let her son York leave sanctuary. He stands upon the privilege of the church, but is reasonably easy to convince otherwise.

Thomas Rotherham, Archbishop of York

Thomas Rotherham, Archbishop of York, is a friend of Queen Elizabeth’s. He is shocked at the news of the arrest of Rivers and Grey, and offers the Queen sanctuary.

John Morton, Bishop of Ely

John Morton, Bishop of Ely, is a member of the regency council following King Edward’s death, who wishes the young Prince to be crowned as soon as possible. He owns a garden that produces superlative strawberries.

Duke of Norfolk

John, Duke of Norfolk, the same as the Norfolk of Henry VI, Part Three, is a loyal supporter of King Richard’s who commands one of the main battalions at Bosworth. 

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Earl of Surrey

The Earl of Surrey, son to Duke of Norfolk, is one of Richard’s supporters, who does not look very optimistic on the eve of the battle of Bosworth.

Earl Rivers

Earl Rivers (Anthony Woodvile) is Queen Elizabeth’s brother, the same as the Rivers of Henry VI, Part Three

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Lord Grey

Lord Grey is Queen Elizabeth’s son by her previous marriage, ennobled after his mother’s marriage to King Edward.

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Earl of Oxford

The Earl of Oxford is one of Richmond’s supporters and military leaders, the same as the Oxford of Henry VI, Part Three. He has been a Lancastrian supporter all his life.

Lord Stanley

Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby is a close friend of Lord Hastings and Henry Earl of Richmond’s stepfather. 

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Lord Lovel

Lord Lovel is one of Richard’s supporters. He takes Lord Hastings to his execution and delivers the head to Richard.

Sir James Tyrrel

Sir James Tyrell is a poor and bitter knight who is willing to do anything to enrich himself and make himself more prominent. 

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Sir James Blunt

Sir James Blunt is one of Richmond’s supporters, a captain in his army, and serves as his messenger to Stanley on the eve of the battle of Bosworth. 

Sir Walter Herbert

Sir Walter Herbert is one of Richmond’s supporters, a well-known and respected soldier. He is convinced that Richard’s followers will all desert him.

Sir Robert Brakenbury

Sir Robert Brakenbury is the Lieutenant of the Tower of London, a stubbornly loyal man who does his job to the letter no matter his own thoughts on the matter. 

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Sir William Brandon

Sir William Brandon [mute role] is one of Richmond’s supporters, given the high (and dangerous) honor of carrying the Earl’s standard into the battle of Bosworth.

Christopher Urswick

Christopher Urswick, a Priest is used as a messenger between Stanley and Richmond. He brings Stanley an update on Richmond’s forces.

Tressel

Tressel [mute role] is a gentleman who accompanies the Lady Anne as she takes the corpse of Henry VI to burial. He escorts her when she leaves to go to Crosby House at Richard’s request.

Berkeley

Berkeley [mute role] is a gentleman who accompanies the Lady Anne as she takes the corpse of Henry VI to burial. He escorts her when she leaves to go to Crosby House at Richard’s request.

Keeper in the Tower

The Keeper is George Duke of Clarence’s jailer, who converses pleasantly enough with his prisoner.

Duchess of York

The Duchess of York is the mother of King Edward, Clarence and Richard, and the widow of the Duke of York of the three Henry VI plays. 

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Lady Anne

Lady Anne is the daughter of the Earl of Warwick (see Henry VI, Part Three) and the widow of Prince Edward of Lancaster, whom Richard helped kill. 

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Margaret Plantagenet

Margaret Plantagenet, Countess of Salisbury, is the daughter of George Duke of Clarence, and is in her grandmother the Duchess of York’s keeping after Clarence’s arrest. 

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Sir John

Sir John, a Priest comes to speak to Lord Hastings the morning of the council meeting, but Lord Hastings puts him off till the next Sunday.

First Murderer

The First Murderer is a reasonably cautious man, requiring a warrant to get to Clarence and commending Brankenbury on the wisdom of informing the King that he has handed Clarence over. 

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Gentleman

A Gentleman is one of those carrying King Henry’s coffin.

Halberds

Halberds [mute roles] escort a variety of people to their deaths, as well as King Henry’s coffin to its grave.

First Citizen

The First Citizen is shaken by the King’s death, but is more optimistic than his fellows, trusting that the royal uncles on both sides of the family are wise men. He is either very trusting or putting a good face on his fears.

Second Citizen

The Second Citizen is deeply worried by what will come after the King’s death, though he holds out some hope that the council will govern well until Prince Edward comes of age.

Messenger to the Queen

Messenger to the Queen brings the Queen the news that her son and brother have been arrested on Richard and Buckingham’s orders.

Stanley Messenger

Stanley Messenger is sent to Lord Hastings with the tale of Lord Stanley’s premonitory dream, to beg Hastings to fly to the north with Stanley. 

Scrivener

A Scrivener is a public scribe with particularly nice handwriting who has been hired by Catesby to write up the official explanation for Hastings’s execution so that it can be posted for all to see. 

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Aldermen of London

Aldermen of London accompany the Lord Mayor to request that Richard take the crown.

Two Bishops

Two Bishops [mute roles] walk out on the walls of Baynard’s Castle with Richard to give the impression that he has been praying rather than plotting to take the throne.

Page

A Page keeps tabs on people who might be useful to the King for him.

First Messenger

The First Messenger comes to inform Richard that rebellion has broken out in Devonshire.

Second Messenger

The Second Messenger comes to inform Richard that rebellion has broken out in Kent.

Third Messenger

The Third Messenger attempts to inform Richard that Buckingham’s army has been ruined by a flood, but is beaten by the ill-tempered King first.

Fourth Messenger

The Fourth Messenger comes to inform Richard that rebellion may have broken out in Yorkshire, but that Richmond refused to trust Buckingham’s men and has gone back to France.

Fifth Messenger

The Fifth Messenger is sent by Richard to order Stanley to bring his forces to the battle, and returns to inform the King that Stanley refuses.

Ghost of King Henry VI

The Ghost of King Henry VI comes to haunt Richard the night before the battle of Bosworth and to bless Richard’s opponent Richmond. His reasons for disliking Richard can be found in Henry VI, Part Three.

Ghost of Prince Edward of Lancaster

The Ghost of Prince Edward of Lancaster comes to haunt Richard the night before the battle of Bosworth and to bless Richard’s opponent Richmond. His reasons for disliking Richard can be found in Henry VI, Part Three.

First Lord to Richmond

First Lord to Richmond comes with others of Richmond's company to wake him up on the morning of the battle of Bosworth.

Second Lord to Richmond

Second Lord to Richmond comes with others of Richmond's company to wake him up on the morning of the battle of Bosworth, and wonders what sort of state he's in.

Shakespeare Pulse
 

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