Top 10 Quotes: Richard III


William Shakespeare's Richard III is a textual masterpiece, threaded with some of the most beautifully constructed verse. Richard III quotes may not be among the Bard's most famous, but they are certainly among his most beautiful.

We guide you through the top 10 quotes from Richard III.


One: Disputes!


Dispute not with her; she is lunatic.

(Act 1, Scene 3)


Two: Bloody art, Bloody Death


Either thou wilt die, by God's just ordinance,
Ere from this war thou turn a conqueror,
Or I with grief and extreme age shall perish
And never look upon thy face again.
Therefore take with thee my most heavy curse;
Which, in the day of battle, tire thee more
Than all the complete armour that thou wear'st!
My prayers on the adverse party fight;
And there the little souls of Edward's children
Whisper the spirits of thine enemies
And promise them success and victory.
Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end;
Shame serves thy life and doth thy death attend.

(Act 4, Scene 4)


Three: Bad World


Bad is the world; and all will come to nought,

When such bad dealings must be seen in thought.

(Act 3, Scene 6)


Four: King's Name


Why, our battalion trebles that account:
Besides, the king's name is a tower of strength,
Which they upon the adverse party want.

(Act 5, Scene 3)


Five: Play the Devil


I do the wrong, and first begin to brawl.
The secret mischiefs that I set abroach
I lay unto the grievous charge of others.
Clarence, whom I, indeed, have laid in darkness,
I do beweep to many simple gulls
Namely, to Hastings, Derby, Buckingham;
And say it is the queen and her allies
That stir the king against the duke my brother.
Now, they believe it; and withal whet me
To be revenged on Rivers, Vaughan, Grey:
But then I sigh; and, with a piece of scripture,
Tell them that God bids us do good for evil:
And thus I clothe my naked villany
With old odd ends stolen out of holy writ;
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.

(Act 1, Scene 3)


Six: Winter of our Discontent


Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.

(Act 1, Scene 1)


Seven: Wise and Young


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

(Act 3, Scene 1)


Eight: Conscience


Go, gentleman, every man unto his charge
Let not our babbling dreams affright our souls:
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.
March on, join bravely, let us to't pell-mell
If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell.

(Act 5, Scene 3)


Nine: Swallow's Wings



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.

(Act 5, Scene 2)


Ten: Infect my Eyes!



Out of my sight! thou dost infect my eyes.

(Act 1, Scene 2)

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Your Citation
Jamieson, Lee. "Top 10 Quotes: Richard III." ThoughtCo, Aug. 22, 2016, Jamieson, Lee. (2016, August 22). Top 10 Quotes: Richard III. Retrieved from Jamieson, Lee. "Top 10 Quotes: Richard III." ThoughtCo. (accessed December 12, 2017).