21+ Richard III Quotes From Shakespeare's Royally Good Play

Shakespeare's 'Richard III' quotes are royally good to read.

'Richard III' is one of Shakespeare's most important and most celebrated historical tragedies that records the short reign of the Machiavellian king Richard, the Third of England.

Written in between 1592-1593, it is ranked as the second-longest Shakesperean play and in the First Folio, it is ranked the longest. The play focuses on the titular character King Richard and his subsequent advent in the seat of power and his fall to ruin, all in a short span of time as well.

Eventually, he is killed in battle by the next king Henry IV when he faces a disadvantage in the battlefield on being unhorsed, and in desperation he was even willing to trade his kingdom for a horse. Here is a list of some of the best quotes from this famous historical play by William Shakespeare that has influenced many contemporary writers of historical drama. Richard III is both the protagonist and villain of this play, so read on for his best quotes.

If you like our content, you will love other amazing articles like these Shakespeare quotes about death and 'Twelfth Night' quotes.

William Shakespeare 'Richard III' Quotes

'Richard III' quotes are exemplary amongst the historical plays of William Shakespeare as this protagonist villain is fascinating.

If you are looking for some exemplary 'Richard III' Shakespeare quotes, you should check out this list.

1. "To entertain these fair well-spoken days,

I am determined to prove a villain

and hate the idle pleasures of these days."

-Richard, 'Richard III', Act 1, Scene 1.

2. "Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by this sun of York."

-Richard, Act 1, Scene 1.

3. "I cannot prove a lover."

-Gloucester,  Act 1, Scene 1.

4. "So wise so young, they say do never live long."

-Gloucester,  Act 3, Scene 1.

5. "With odd old ends stolen out of Holy Writ, and seem a saint when most I play the devil."

-Richard, Act 1, Scene 3.

6. "Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.

Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;

and now, instead of mounting barbed steeds

to fright the souls of fearful adversaries,

he capers nimbly in a lady's chamber

to the lascivious pleasing of a lute."

-Gloucester,  Act 1, Scene 1.

7. "Was ever woman in this humor wooed?

Was ever woman in this humour won?

I'll have her; but I will not keep her long."

-Gloucester,  Act 1, Scene 2.

8. "My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,

and every tongue brings in a several tale,

and every tale condemns me for a villain."

-Richard, Act 5, Scene 3.

9. "An honest tale speeds best being plainly told."

-Queen Elizabeth, Act 4, Scene 4.

10. "Conscience is but a word that cowards use,

devised at first to keep the strong in awe.

Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law."

-Richard, Act 5, Scene 3.

Famous Quotes From 'Richard III'

Quotes by William Shakespeare from 'Richard III' record the short span of Richard III's reign.

Here is a list of some of the most famous quotes including love quotes from 'Richard III' by William Shakespeare.

11. "Slave, I have set my life upon a cast,

and I will stand the hazard of the die:

I think there be six Richmonds in the field; five have I slain to-day instead of him.

A horse! a horse! My kingdom for a horse!"

-Richard, Act 5, Scene 4.

12. "Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end; Shame serves thy life and doth thy death attend."

-Duchess Of York, Act 4, Scene 4.

13. "Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,

have no delight to pass away the time,

unless to spy my shadow in the sun

and descant on mine own deformity."

-Gloucester,  Act 1, Scene 1.

14. "We will unite the white rose and the red: smile heaven upon this fair conjunction,

that long have frown'd upon their enmity!"

-Richmond, Act 5, Scene 5.

15. "All for our vantage.

Then, in God's name, march:

True hope is swift, and flies with swallow's wings:

Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings."

-Richmond, Act 5, Scene 2.

16. "I cannot tell: the world is grown so bad,

that wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch:

since every Jack became a gentleman there's many a gentle person made a Jack."

-Gloucester,  Act 1, Scene 3.

17. "What do I fear? myself? there's none else by: Richard loves Richard;

that is, I am I. Is there a murderer here? No. Yes, I am: Then fly.

What, from myself? Great reason why: Lest I revenge.

What, myself upon myself? Alack. I love myself.

Wherefore? for any good that I myself have done unto myself?

O, no! alas, I rather hate myself For hateful deeds committed by myself!"

-Richard, Act 5, Scene 2.

18. "My heart is ten times lighter than my looks."

-Surrey, Act 5, Scene 3.

19. "Why, then All-Souls' day is my body's doomsday.

This is the day that, in King Edward's time,

I wish't might fall on me,

when I was found false to his children or his wife's allies this is the day

wherein I wish'd to fall by the false faith of him I trusted most; this,

this All-Souls' day to my fearful soul is the determined respite of my wrongs..."

-Buckingham, Act 5, Scene 3.

20. "Every man's conscience is a thousand swords, to fight against that bloody homicide."

-Oxford, Act 5, Scene 3.

21. "Fellows in arms, and my most loving friends,

Bruised underneath the yoke of tyranny,

thus far into the bowels of the land have we march'd on without impediment;

and here receive we from our father Stanley lines of fair comfort and encouragement."

-Richmond, Act 5, Scene 3.

22. "Look, how this ring encompasseth thy finger,

Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart;

Wear both of them, for both of them are thine."

- Richard, Act 1, Scene 2.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 'Richard III' quotes, then why not take a look at [quotes from Julius Caesar], or Shakespeare love quotes.



At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

Sponsorship & Advertising Policy

Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.

We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.

Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Read our Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Get The Kidadl Newsletter

1,000 of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

Thank you! Your newsletter will be with you soon.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
No items found.