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Richard III

William Shakespeare

Character Analysis Henry, Duke of Buckingham

Buckingham is ambitious to become the Earl of Hereford and to gain the "movables" of the earldom, brashly ignores Queen Margaret's warning, and aligns himself with Richard of Gloucester. He becomes convinced that he is indeed Richard's "second self," his "counsel's consistory," his "oracle" and "prophet." He is at his zenith when he sets the stage and gives the directions for the reception of the lord mayor and the urging of Richard to accept the crown. He sees himself as a second Warwick, a kingmaker, and is confident of prompt reward. Not until Richard sounds him out regarding the plan to murder the little princes does Buckingham waver in his unquestioning obedience to the new king. Although he escapes to Wales and raises forces to oppose his former master, he is not allowed to survive, so deep in sin has he fallen.