Richard III

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Tyrrel
tyrannous (adj.) cruel, pitiless, oppressive


The tyrannous and bloody act is done,

The most arch deed of piteous massacre
arch (adj.) chief, principal, pre-eminent

That ever yet this land was guilty of.

Dighton and Forrest, whom I did suborn
suborn (v.) bribe, corrupt, persuade [someone] to commit perjury

To do this piece of ruthless butchery,
piece (n.) 2 specimen, masterpiece
ruthless (adj.) unpitying, pitiless, unsparing

Albeit they were fleshed villains, bloody dogs,
fleshed (adj.) 1 well used to bloodshed, hardened

Melting with tenderness and mild compassion,

Wept like two children in their death's sad story.
sad (adj.) 3 downcast, distressed, mournful, gloomy

‘ O, thus,’ quoth Dighton, ‘ lay the gentle babes.’
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind
quoth (v.) said See Topics: Frequency count

‘ Thus, thus,’ quoth Forrest, ‘ girdling one another

Within their alablaster innocent arms.
alablaster (adj.) white, smooth [as alabaster]

Their lips were four red roses on a stalk,

Which in their summer beauty kissed each other.
summer (adj.) joyful, pleasant, happy

A book of prayers on their pillow lay,

Which once,’ quoth Forrest, ‘ almost changed my mind;

But O! The devil ’ – there the villain stopped;

When Dighton thus told on – ‘ We smothered

The most replenished sweet work of nature
replenished (adj.) complete, perfect, consummate

That from the prime creation e'er she framed.’
prime (adj.) 1 first, original, initial

Hence both are gone with conscience and remorse.
gone (adj.) lost, ruined, brought down
remorse (n.) 1 pity, regret, sorrow

They could not speak; and so I left them both,

To bear this tidings to the bloody King.

Enter King Richard

And here he comes. All health, my sovereign lord!


Kind Tyrrel, am I happy in thy news?


If to have done the thing you gave in charge
give in charge give orders, command, direct

Beget your happiness, be happy then,
beget (v.), past form begot 2 produce, engender, give rise to

For it is done.


                         But didst thou see them dead?


I did, my lord.
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind


                         And buried, gentle Tyrrel?


The chaplain of the Tower hath buried them;

But where, to say the truth, I do not know.


Come to me, Tyrrel, soon at after-supper,
after-supper (n.) period of time immediately after dessert [eaten after the main course of the evening meal]

When thou shalt tell the process of their death.
process (n.) 3 account, report, story

Meantime, but think how I may do thee good,

And be inheritor of thy desire.

Farewell till then.


                         I humbly take my leave.



The son of Clarence have I pent up close,
close (adv.) 7 securely, in strict confinement
pent up (v.) shut up, confine, lock in

His daughter meanly have I matched in marriage,
meanly (adv.) 1 humbly, in a lowly manner

The sons of Edward sleep in Abraham's bosom,

And Anne my wife hath bid this world good night.

Now, for I know the Britain Richmond aims
Britain (adj.) living in Brittany, from Brittany

At young Elizabeth, my brother's daughter,

And by that knot looks proudly on the crown,
knot (n.) 3 marriage-tie, bond of wedlock
proudly (adv.) haughtily, arrogantly, disdainfully

To her go I, a jolly thriving wooer.
jolly (adj.) 1 amorous, lustful, licentious

Enter Ratcliffe


My lord –


Good or bad news, that thou com'st in so bluntly?


Bad news, my lord. Morton is fled to Richmond,

And Buckingham, backed with the hardy Welshmen,

Is in the field, and still his power increaseth.
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


Ely with Richmond troubles me more near
near (adv.) 1 closely, intimately, seriously

Than Buckingham and his rash-levied strength.
rash-levied (adj.) hastily raised

Come! I have learned that fearful commenting
commenting (n.) meditation, pondering, cogitation
fearful (adj.) 1 timid, timorous, frightened, full of fear

Is leaden servitor to dull delay;
servitor (n.) 1 servant

Delay leads impotent and snail-paced beggary.

Then fiery expedition be my wing,
expedition (n.) 3 warlike enterprise, setting out for war
fiery (adj.) 1 ardent, spirited, animated

Jove's Mercury, and herald for a king!

Go, muster men. My counsel is my shield;

We must be brief when traitors brave the field.
brave (v.) 1 challenge, defy, confront, provoke
brief (adj.) 1 quick, speedy, swift, expeditious
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count


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