Richard III

Richard III Act 3, Scene 6 Summary & Analysis

Read our modern English translation of this scene.
On a London street, a Scrivener enters with the written indictment of Hastings that is set to be read to the public that day. He began transcribing it after Catesby sent it over last night before and, mid-transcription, Hastings was executed. "Who is so gross that cannot see this palpable device!" the scrivener cries, "Yet who so bold but says he sees it not! Bad is the world; and all will come to naught, when such ill dealing must be seen in thought."
If Hastings' execution were actually above board, his indictment should have been finished and read aloud before his execution. Like the citizens earlier, the scrivener's comments indicate that the general public is wise to Richard's crookedness (unlike the nobles). Still, though everyone may know that Hastings did not deserve to die, no one is brave enough to articulate that thought aloud, fearing Richard's punishment.
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