To say that I love Shakespeare`s Richard III character is a gross under statement.
Here we have a likeable rogue, who knows he`s unscrupulous, devious, manipulative and the owner of a multitude of other undesirable life hacks, that frankly make him dangerous to be around, especially if he doesn`t want you to stay around for long in his social orbit.
He talks confidentially to his audience in conspiratorial tones, drawing you into his web if intrigue, because by sticking around to hear what he intends, then to do nothing about it, makes you an accessory, and as near an accomplice as you can get.
What`s even more striking, is you don`t give a flying fuck; all that murderous intent turned into fact seems to give us zero amount of shame. You look down the list of useful operatives and tick them off as they fly about doing the nasty stuff; then along comes a member of the elite. A smooth, self serving operator, who somehow against type, grows a conscience and makes himself suddenly expendable.
The Duke of Buckingham is in it initially for the long game; he seems capable and willing to trot alongside his cousin, study the runners and riders, then eliminate them before they enter the paddock. To suddenly feel queasy, is a slightly uneasy plot device by Shakespeare to separate Richard`s unquenchable ambition with Buckingham`s up until then, easy come, easy go attitude to family pruning principles.
In reality, Buckingham rebelled against his cousin for self promotion purposes; his vaulting ambition got the better of him. Looking at the end result in hindsight, its sometimes easy to judge Buckingham`s actions as stupid, but Richard wasn`t sitting on a stable throne by any means, and so, probably looked ripe for plucking down.
Buckingham lost the gamble of his life, and also lost the gainful employment of a fully functioning head. As you do.
The excerpt from the play below shows the moment when Buckingham has rolled the dice and found seriously wanting by Richard. Patience has left the building; Buckingham will have to go. He clucks too much, wants a pause in operations, when all Richard wants, are immediate results from a right hand man willing and able to do anything to firm down Richards buttock cheeks on the throne.