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Richard III Act 5, Scene 6 Summary

  • As Richmond takes to the field, Richard is still trying to get the weather report. He notes that the sun should have risen an hour ago but has yet to show. With the sun hiding and the sky crying, Richard thinks it's shaping up to be a bad day.
  • Still, Richard figures the same heaven is looking over Richmond, so maybe a dark day is in store for everyone.
  • Richard moves to gather his men and hastily throws out their battle plan. John, Duke of Norfolk then shows Richard a note that was stuck onto his tent, amounting to "You guys are done for, and no one will stay on your side."
  • Richard chooses to ignore the message (because what else is he going to do, give up?) and proceeds to give a little speech suggesting that conscience is for cowards. Essentially, Richard would have his men rely on their brass and brawn.
  • Richard's pep talk to the troops essentially consists of, "They're coming from France [Bretons, from Brittany] and Wales. We're English. Hello, we'll crush them!"
  • Richard calls Richmond a "milksop" and suggests that their duty as Englishman is to do what their forefathers have long done before them: to defeat those sniveling cowards.
  • Richard is interrupted in his speech by the entrance of a messenger bringing news that Lord Stanley has no intention of bringing his troops to battle. Since there isn't time right now to kill George Stanley, Richard will have to do it after the battle.
  • He leads his men off with the "spleen of fiery dragons."

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