"Sleep In Abraham's Bosom"

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on August 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 168

Context: Richard, Duke of Gloucester, has been crowned King Richard III. He realizes, however, that this crown is not secure. He knows the necessary course of his actions. He must have his nephews, the sons of Edward IV, murdered, must marry their sister, and must dispose of the two children of his other brother, Clarence. Tyrrel agrees to kill the young Princes Edward and Richard in the Tower. He and Dighton, another professional murderer, "smothered/ The most replenished sweet work of nature." When Richard is told of the death of the princes, he pauses to take stock of himself and to chart his further moves. Ironically he paraphrases the Bible (Luke XVI, 22: "The beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom") in discussing the princes whom he has had slain:

The son of Clarence have I pent up close,
His daughter meanly have I matched in marriage,
The sons of Edward sleep in Abraham's bosom,
And Anne my wife hath bid this world good night.
. . .

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

"Off With His Head"


"So Wise, So Young, They Say Do Never Live Long"