“To her Go I, a Jolly Thriving Wooer”: The Second Wooing Scene (4.4.199–431)

  • Charles A. Hallett
  • Elaine S. Hallett


Shakespeare’s decision to write his Richard III from the point of view of a fictive-autobiography-writing Richard was not intended to supply Richard with a forum in which he could refute the moral tenets of Sir Thomas More. However, his collaborator was free to assume that that was his prerogative. Shakespeare’s sympathies were with More, and his objective was to allow Richard himself to demonstrate just how accurate More’s appraisal of him had been. Nevertheless, he wisely resisted the temptation to assure the audience that he was no admirer of the self-aggrandizing Richard who strutted so confidently through the first acts of the play. The time would come when the camaraderie Richard had established between himself and the audience would be destroyed by Richard’s tendency to overreach. The first sign of this came in the Tyrrel scene. There one found a Richard still confident that the audience was continuing to applaud him while, in fact, most spectators, having been touched by Tyrrel’s appraisal of Richard’s monstrous deed, would now be aghast at his antics.


Poor Infant Moral Tenet Young Prince Alluring Promise Dramatic Conflict 
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  1. 14.
    Alastair Macauley, Financial Times, in Theatre Record 12 (25 March 2002): 363.Google Scholar
  2. 15.
    Donna J. Oestreich-Hart suggests a different kind of debt to Ovid than we intuit. See “Therefore, Since I Cannot Prove a Lover,” Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900 40 (2000): 241–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Charles A. Hallett and Elaine S. Hallett 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles A. Hallett
  • Elaine S. Hallett

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