Act One

Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, greets the audience. He explains that the civil war between the Yorks and the Lancasters is over, that his brother Edward IV of York is on the throne of England, and that they are in a time of peace. However, he has no joy in it, and is instead determined to be a villain, to “set my brother Clarence and the king / In deadly hate, the one against the other.” George, the Duke of Clarence, is his older brother (Edward IV is the oldest of the three), and Richard intercepts him as he’s being taken to the Tower of London, under arrest. Richard is able to convince George that Edward’s wife Elizabeth Woodville is responsible for this imprisonment, and that he will speak to Edward for George’s release. As George is led away by Brakenbury, the lieutenant of the Tower, Lord Hastings enters. Hastings, a top political official in Edward’s court, was just released from the Tower, and Richard is able to convince Hastings to remain loyal, despite his

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