Act 1 Scene 1, lines 1 to 41

  1. Richard:

    Now is the winter of our discontent
    Made glorious summer by this sun of York,
    And all the clouds that loured upon our house
    In the deep bosum of the ocean buried.
    Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,
    Our bruised arms hung up for monuments,
    Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
    Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
    Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front,
    And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
    To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
    He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber
    To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
    But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
    Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass,
    I, that am rudely stamped, and want love's majesty
    To strut before a wanton ambling nymph.
    I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion,
    Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
    Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time
    Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
    And that so lamely and unfashionable
    That dogs bark at me as I halt by them.
    Why I (in this weak piping time of peace),
    Have no delight to pass away the time,
    Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
    And descant on mine own deformity.
    And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover
    To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
    I am determined to prove a villain
    And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
    Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
    By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,
    To set my brother Clarence and the king
    In deadly hate the one against the other.
    And if King Edward be as true and just
    As I am subtle, false and treacherous
    This day should Clarence closely be mew’d up
    About a prophecy, which says that 'G'
    Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
    Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here Clarence comes.