Act V - Act V, Scene 4

SCENE IV. Another part of the Field.

[Alarum; excursions. Enter NORFOLK and forces; to him CATESBY.]

Rescue, my Lord of Norfolk, rescue, rescue!
The king enacts more wonders than a man,
Daring an opposite to every danger:
His horse is slain, and all on foot he fights,
Seeking for Richmond in the throat of death.
Rescue, fair lord, or else the day is lost!

[Alarum. Enter KING RICHARD.]

A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!

Withdraw, my lord! I'll help you to a horse.

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!



  1. The arrogant and pathetic hunchbacked King Richard III refuses to withdraw, even though his horse has died. Even during Shakespeare's lifetime, the line "my kingdom for a horse!" was parodied for its melodrama. For example, satirist John Marston (a contemporary of Shakespeare) frequently imitated the line: "A boat, a boat, a boat, a full hundred marks for a boat!"

    — Sarah, Owl Eyes Staff