A line-by-line translation

Richard III

Richard III Translation Table of Contents

One of Shakespeare’s late romance plays, The Winter’s Tale tells the story of King Leontes’ jealousy of his wife Hermione. Suspecting their newborn daughter is the product of Hermione’s affair with his friend Polixenes, Leontes orders that Hermione go to prison and that their daughter should be abandoned. Thanks to Paulina and Antigonus’ efforts to save the child, she grows up into a lovely young woman, Perdita, and falls in love with Florizel. What starts off as a tragedy turns to comedy, as the lovers hope to wed, and Leontes repents. A little magic reunites Leontes’ family, once shattered by envy. The Shakescleare version of The Winter’s Tale includes the original play alongside a modern English translation, which will help you make sense of its famous lines, like the notorious stage direction “Exit, pursued by a bear,” and “innocence shall make / False accusation blush, and / Tremble at patience.”

Act 1, Scene 1

The Duke of Clarence has been arrested and meets Richard. Richard plans to turn his brother, the King, against Clarence.

Act 1, Scene 2

Henry VI's corpse is led in a state procession. Richard halts this, and woos Lady Anne, who agrees to marry him.

Act 1, Scene 3

Richard turns the nobles at court against each other, and sends assassins to kill Clarence.

Act 1, Scene 4

The assassins arrive to murder Clarence, although pangs of conscience slow their action.

Act 2, Scene 1

The sick King Edward IV discovers that Clarence has been executed against his orders. Richard passes on the blame.

Act 2, Scene 2

Clarence's children aren't told about his death. Elizabeth announces Edward's death. Richard and Buckingham plot.

Act 2, Scene 3

Citizens discuss the death of the king. They express concern that there may be a war to determine who takes the throne.

Act 2, Scene 4

Queen Elizabeth's supporters have been imprisoned. She, the Duchess of York, and the young princes seek sanctuary.

Act 3, Scene 1

Richard and Buckingham encourage the princes to stay in the Tower of London. The two men then plot to crown Richard.

Act 3, Scene 2

Lord Stanley is worried. Catesby tries to convince Hastings to join Richard's faction, but Hastings refuses.

Act 3, Scene 3

Recounting previous moments in British history, Rivers, Grey, and Vaughan prepare to be executed at Pomfret.

Act 3, Scene 4

Nobles meet to discuss the coronation. Richard accuses Hastings of treason, and has him arrested and condemned to die.

Act 3, Scene 5

Richard convinces the Lord Mayor to vouch for Hastings' death. Richard plans to suggest Edward's children are bastards.

Act 3, Scene 6

A professional scribe reports the official charges leveled at Hastings, noting that they are obviously false.

Act 3, Scene 7

Buckingham describes his meeting with the citizens. Richard pretends to not want kingship, but then accepts it.

Act 4, Scene 1

The Duchess of York and Elizabeth can't visit the princes. Richard's new wife, Anne, is called for her coronation.

Act 4, Scene 2

Richard is formally crowned. He shows displeasure with Buckingham, and sends Tyrrel to kill the princes in the Tower.

Act 4, Scene 3

Tyrrel announces the princes' deaths. Richard plans to woo his niece Elizabeth. A civil war has begun.

Act 4, Scene 4

Queen Margaret, the Duchess of York, and Elizabeth curse Richard. Battle is imminent. Buckingham is captured.

Act 4, Scene 5

Nobles discuss abandoning Richard and joining the rebellion, which is growing quickly.

Act 5, Scene 1

Buckingham is being led to execution and asks to speak with Richard, although the sheriff denies him this favor.

Act 5, Scene 2

Richmond leads the rebellion, and says that nobody has opposed him so far. The rebels prepare to fight.

Act 5, Scene 3

The two armies set up camp. Richard is haunted by his victims' ghosts. The armies continue to prepare for battle.

Act 5, Scene 4

The battle rages. Richard is hunting for Richmond on the battlefield, but has not found him yet.

Act 5, Scene 5

Richmond kills Richard. Richmond takes the crown, announces his engagement, and pardons his foes, thus ending the war.
Matt cosby
About the Translator: Matt Cosby
Matt Cosby graduated from Amherst College in 2011, and currently works as a writer and editor for LitCharts. He is from Florida but now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also makes art, plays the piano, and goes to dog parks.