So wise so young, they say do never live long

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

King Richard III (III, i, 79)

In one of the most moving scenes in this play, the evil Richard is planning the most foul act in his plot to make himself king of England. He has already had his brother Clarence murdered. His other brother, King Edward, is dead, and Richard has been made Lord Protector of Edwards's two young sons: Edward, Prince of Wales (and next in line as king) and Richard, Duke of York. The two boys have arrived in London for the Crown Prince's coronation. Until now, Richard's murders have been of adults, but here he shows that he is just as capable of dispatching children. Richard tells the Crown Prince that he and his brother will reside in the Tower until the coronation, a suggestion that Prince Edward dislikes but agrees to. In an aside, Richard declares "So wise so young, they say do never live long." The Crown Prince asks "What say you, uncle?" Richard replies, "Without characters, fame lives long." The brothers, of course, will be murdered in the tower after Richard usurps the crown for himself.

Themes: death and sickness, murder and assassination, evil, plots

Speakers: Richard

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