Richard III is able to keep Buckingham’s loyalty in check by providing him with an incentive to support him. When Buckingham talks of whether or not Hastings will become disloyal, Richard says that if Hastings does, he will “…Chop off his head. Whatever we decide to do. And when I’m king, remember to ask me for the earldom of Hereford…” (3.1 194-196). This shows Buckingham the prize (the earldom of Hereford), but what he will lose if he stops supporting Richard and his plan.