Richard III "My Kingdom For A Horse!"
by William Shakespeare

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"My Kingdom For A Horse!"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Having won his way to the throne of England by means of a series of murders (among them the murders of his brother, the Duke of Clarence; Edward, Prince of Wales, son of Henry VI; Lord Rivers; Lord Grey; Lord Hastings; and Edward and Richard, sons of Edward IV) Richard III finds himself brought to bay on Bosworth Field by Henry, Earl of Richmond, the future Henry VII. In the battle, Richard's horse is killed; he desperately seeks for another, so that he can meet Richmond in hand-to-hand combat. In his anguish, shortly before his death at the hands of Richmond, he cries:


KING RICHARD
A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!
CATESBY
Withdraw my lord, I'll help you to a horse.
KING RICHARD
Slave, I have set my life upon a cast,
And I will stand the hazard of the die.
I think there be six Richmonds in the field;
Five have I slain to-day instead of him.
A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!