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Quotes

Quote #4

'tis with false Sorrow's eye,
Which for things true weeps things imaginary. (2.2.2)

In a typical example of how the "flatterers" mislead Richard by shielding him from anything negative, Bushy tries to convince the queen that she's mistaken to think anything is wrong. His argument that sorrow is "false" or misleading is, well, false and misleading. Sorrow is the only thing that helps Richard or his queen finally see things the way they really are.

Quote #5

The bay trees in our country are all withered,
And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven. (2.4.2)

There's lots of discussion in this play of nature, and how to interpret natural "signs," which everyone assumes are happening in response to events at court. Here the Captain is saying that things look bad. The fact that the bay trees are withered and there are meteors both mean, to a lot of people, that the king is probably dead. Brain Snack: Shakespeare got this omen from Holinshed's Chronicles, a major literary source for the play.

Quote #6

Men judge by the complexion of the sky
The state and inclination of the day;
So may you by my dull and heavy eye. (3.2.6)

The ability to read situations accurately, and to infer the truth from appearances, is critically important in this play. Here Scrope is about to give Richard some bad news. In order to do so, he needs to retrain Richard – whose judgment is warped by years of being flattered and lied to – to judge appearances correctly.

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