In Act 1 scene 1 Richard delivers a soliloquy where the audience are made aware of his plot to gain the throne. He is then visited by his brother Clarence who is to be imprisoned. We learn that the reason for this imprisonment is because someone told King Edward that a person with a name starting with the letter "G" would cause his family to lose the throne. Since Clarence's full name is George, Duke of Clarence, he was considered to be a prime suspect. Richard cunningly informs Clarence that the accomplice to this prophecy is Queen Elizabeth.
The two’s conversation is interrupted by Brakenbury who admonishes that by order of the King, no one is to be in conference with the imprisoned. Gloster then reassures him that they only speak in good word of the King and Queen Elizabeth. Clarence is then taken away and Gloster reveals that he will have him permanently removed in order to clear the path for the throne for himself.
Having just been freed Lord Hastings emerges from the Tower and tells Gloster of the King’s illness and how close he is to death. When Hastings departs Gloster then plots to have King Edward kill Clarence this will put Richard into a position where upon Edward's death he can assume the throne. He also plots to marry Lady Anne , who is the widow of Edward, Prince of Wales and the daughter-in-law of Henry VI, whom Richard has both killed.