Richard III Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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List the deaths in Act 3. What does each person realize as they die? What does this suggest about the idea of justice?

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In act 3, scene 3, Rivers and Gray, the queen's kinsmen, and Sir Thomas Vaughan, their friend, all die offstage. Their deaths are only confirmed in act 4, scene 4, when Margaret exclaims that they have all been "untimely smother'd in their dusky graves." As they are about to die, in act 3, scene 3, Gray says:

Now Margaret's curse is fall'n upon our heads,
For standing by when Richard stabb'd her son.

He and the others realize that Margaret's curses are coming to pass. Their deaths might be considered as some kind of justice because they could have done more to prevent Richard from killing Margaret's son. However, their deaths might also be considered unjust because they are essentially loyal and dutiful characters, and because their deaths are ordered by Richard for no morally justifiable reason, but only to advance his own plans.

In act 3, scene 4, Richard orders Hastings's execution, ostensibly for treason. We know that Hastings hasn't really committed treason against Richard, and in...

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