Help, Shakespeare scholars! (This is really vague, sorry)

Ok, I’m operating on vague, half-remembered things here.
There is a play in which some one (a young prince?) is in danger. People help get him to safety. Someone once said to me “Tradition holds that that extra person is Shakespeare himself, making sure the boys gets away alright.”

Does this ring a bell? What play is this? What character is Will S. playing?

I have no idea. It’s been speculated that Shakespeare played all sorts of roles, including the Ghost in Hamlet, but this is a new one on me. It makes the most sense in a historical drama (one involving the English monarchy) but no such scene rings true for me. Sorry.

I’d guess Henry VI would be the place to start looking, since I don’t know it that well, and the monarchy in that one connects most directly with the Elizabeth/James (Tudor) line on the throne during S.'s lifetime.

Hmm. Could be Macbeth, in which Fleance, son of Banquo, escapes some nasty murderers. I’m not sure if other people are involved, though.

The identity of the Third Murderer in Macbeth is a subject that’s been debated considerably. (Macbeth hires two assassins, but a third one turns up in the scene where they actually do the deed). Not sure if it fits the scene in the OP though - does Fleance escape because of the Third Murderer? Must get my copy of Macbeth out and check.

Third Murderer…hmmm… maybe that’s what I’m thinking of. Maybe I was told “S. is the third murderer. He’s there to make sure the job gets done right.” Quite the opposite of my OP, yet vaguely familiar.

Yeah, sounds like the scene in Macbeth to me. (I’ve heard the theory that the third murderer is Macbeth in disguise, wanting to supervise the job in person; IIRC, it’s not clear from the stage directions whether he kills Banquo, helps Fleance escape, or neither. There’s also no reason to think Shakespeare played the part – personally, I think it’s more likely that some other actor in the company got pissy about not having enough lines, and Shakespeare threw in the part to shut him up.)

This sounds like Richard II to me. The young Prince Edward was the last heir to the throne ahead of Richard so he needed to be protected. It’s been quite a while since I’ve read it but I think this is correct.

The Third Murderer shows up in Macbeth, Act 3, scene iii. I admit his appearance seems all too contrived. Although it is unclear who had what part in the slaughter of Banquo, the Third Murderer is the one who notices that Fleance has fled.

You’re certainly thinking of Richard III, not Richard II – though, as everyone else has said, the OP sounds most like the Macbeth scene already mentioned…

Is there a scene in Richard III where there is an unexplained extra assistant, like there is an extra murderer in Macbeth?

From Macbeth III.iii:
BANQUO: It will be rain to-night.

First Murderer: Let it come down.

They set upon BANQUO
Is this the first James Bond/Ranier Wolfcastle witty action hero line ever?

(Just imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger as First Muderer)