Character Analysis Henry, Earl of Richmond, afterward Henry VII


Richmond is not heard of until Act IV, Scene 1, when Queen Elizabeth urges her son Dorset to save himself by joining Richmond in Brittany. It is true that in Act I, Scene 2, we find a reference to his mother, the Countess Richmond, who is married to Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby; and we learn that the countess has not been friendly to Edward IV's queen. But by the end of Act IV, we learn that "Richmond is on the seas," and he then definitely emerges as Richard III's nemesis. Inevitably, Richmond provides the strongest contrast to Richard. If the latter is "hell's black intelligencer" and "that foul defacer of God's handiwork," Richmond is "God's Captain," the agent of divine justice to be imposed upon Richard. It will not do to criticize him adversely as one who is intolerably stuffy in his proclaimed religiosity and conviction of righteousness.

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