Richard III

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Richard, Duke of Gloucester, King Richard III

Relentlessly power-hungry, Richard is not afraid to betray, lie, and murder to advance himself towards the throne. He is a smooth talker, a skilled actor, and a fickle friend and all around him come to… (read full character analysis)

Richmond, King Henry VII

A Lancaster and nephew to King Henry VI, Richmond is a kind, steady ruler whose gentle leadership stands in sharp contrast to Richard's. Richmond raises an army against Richard and defeats him, taking the… (read full character analysis)

Duke of Buckingham

Richard's right-hand man who helps the Duke rise to the throne, thinking he'll be rewarded once Richard is king. Instead, Richard spurns him. Buckingham realizes the error of his ways and tries unsuccessfully to… (read full character analysis)

Queen Elizabeth

Wife to King Edward and mother to Edward Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, and a daughter (also named Elizabeth) whom Richmond eventually marries, Elizabeth is progressively devastated by Richard's rise… (read full character analysis)

Queen Margaret

Widow of Henry VI and mother of Edward of Westminster (both murdered by Richard), Margaret is bitter, sharp-tongued, grief-addled, and determined to make the living pay for her lost husband, son, and throne. The… (read full character analysis)
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Lady Anne, Queen Anne

The widow of Edward of Westminster (the heir to Henry VI's throne before both were killed by Richard), Richard successfully woos the grieving Anne. He speaks to her of love, but in fact wants… (read full character analysis)
Minor Characters
King Edward IV
Richard's oldest brother and Elizabeth's husband, Edward is a York. He is sickly and dies early on in the play.
George, Duke of Clarence
The middle brother between King Edward VI and Richard, Clarence stands ahead of Richard in the line of succession to the throne. Richard, while pretending to be Clarence's ally, first turns Edward against him and then has him murdered.
Duchess of York
Mother of Edward IV, Richard, and Clarence, who comes to despise Richard and eventually disowns him.
Edward, Prince of Wales
Son of Elizabeth and King Edward and rightful heir to the throne, he is young but witty. After Edward VI dies and Richard seizes the throne, Richard continues to see Edward as a rival and therefore tries to portray him as illegitimate and eventually has him murdered.
Duke of York
Son of Elizabeth and King Edward and the younger brother to Edward Prince of Wales, Richard tries to portray him too as illegitimate and eventually has him murdered.
Lord Stanley
Loyal stepfather to Richmond, who feigns loyalty to Richard to protect his son George Stanley but stealthily assists Richmond.
Lord Hastings
Though Hastings' supports and trusts Richard, he will not support his rise to the throne and is thus eventually beheaded by Richard.
Lord Mayor of London
The mayor that Richard and Buckingham try to manipulate into garnering public support for Richard's rise to the throne.
The Three Citizens
London citizens who worry about their state and fear Richard's rise.
Scrivener
A scrivener hired by Catesby to transcribe Hastings' indictment, he fears the manipulative, wrongful rule of Richard.
The Two Murderers
Murderers Richard hires to kill Clarence. One repents and runs away in remorse.
Ghost of King Henry VI
Ghost of King Henry VI who was married to Queen Margaret and murdered by Richard.
Ghost of Edward of Westminster
Ghost of Edward of Westminster who was married to Lady Anne and murdered by Richard.
Sir William Catesby
A loyal member of Richard's circle.
Duke of Norfolk
A loyal member of Richard's circle.
Earl of Surrey
A loyal member of Richard's circle.
Sir Richard Ratcliffe
A loyal member of Richard's circle.
Lord Lovel
A loyal member of Richard's circle.
Earl of Oxford
A loyal member of Richmond's party.
Sir Walter Herbert
A loyal member of Richmond's party.
Sir James Blunt
A loyal member of Richmond's party.
Sir William Brandon
A loyal member of Richmond's party.
Sir James Tyrrell
The assassin Richard hires to kill Edward Prince of Wales and the Duke of York.
Earl Rivers
Elizabeth's brother and loyal ally, eventually executed by Richard.
Marquis of Dorset
Elizabeth's son from a previous marriage and loyal ally.
Lord Richard Grey
Elizabeth's son from a previous marriage and loyal ally, eventually executed by Richard.
Sir Thomas Vaughan
An ally of Rivers and Grey eventually murdered by Richard.
Sir Robert Brackenbury
Lieutenant of the Tower.
The Sheriff of Wiltshire
A sheriff who escorts Buckingham to his execution.
The Bishop of Ely
A bishop who abandons Richard for Richmond.
The Archbishop of York
An archbishop who conducts Elizabeth and the Duke of York to sanctuary.
Cardinal Bouchier
A cardinal who helps extract the Duke of York from sanctuary.
Sir Christopher Urswick
A messenger between Stanley and Richmond.
Margaret Plantagenet
Clarence's daughter whom Richard marries off to a man of low rank, thereby protecting his throne.
Edward Plantagenet
Clarence's son, whom Richard imprisons.
The Priest
A priest of Hastings' acquaintance.
The Pursuivant
A pursuivant (a man who looks after matters of genealogical importance) of Hastings' acquaintance.
A Page
A page in Richard's court.
The Alderman
An alderman of London.