Richard III: Novel Summary: Act 4 Scene 1

Act 4, scene 1Outside the Tower, the Queen, her son Dorset, the Duchess of York, Richard’s wife Anne, and Clarence’s daughter have come to visit the two princes. But the Lieutenant Brakenbury will not let them in, on the orders of Richard. The Queen and the duchess protest, to no avail.Stanley enters and tells Anne that she must come with him to Westminster to be crowned Richard’s queen. She is heartily displeased at this news.The Queen, knowing that Richard’s accession means more trouble for her family, tells Dorset to join the Duke of Richmond in France (Henry Tudor) where he has taken refuge. Anne rehearses the story of her wooing by Richard, and describes a marriage she bitterly regrets. She has never slept well because Richard is always being awakened by bad dreams. She believes Richard hates her and will soon dispose of her. She also tells the Queen to seek sanctuary.

AnalysisThis is the first mention in this play of Henry Tudor, the Earl of Richmond. He is the future Henry VII who will soon put an end to the Wars of the Roses and unite the two houses of York and Lancaster. In Henry VI, part 3, Henry was still a boy, and he was sent to Brittany, France, to keep him safe.