How we cite our quotes:
If you do love my brother, hate not me;
I am his brother, and I love him well.
If you are hir'd for meed, go back again,
And I will send you to my brother Gloucester,
Who shall reward you better for my life
Than Edward will for tidings of my death.
You are deceiv'd: your brother Gloucester
O, no, he loves me, and he holds me dear.
Go you to him from me.
Ay, so we will.
CLARENCE. Tell him when that our princely father York
Bless'd his three sons with his victorious arm
And charg'd us from his soul to love each other,
He little thought of this divided friendship.
Bid Gloucester think of this, and he will weep.
Ay, millstones; as he lesson'd us to weep.
CLARENCE. O, do not slander him, for he is kind.
Right, as snow in harvest. Come, you
'Tis he that sends us to destroy you here.
It cannot be; for he bewept my fortune
And hugg'd me in his arms, and swore with sobs
That he would labour my delivery.
Why, so he doth, when he delivers you
From this earth's thraldom to the joys of heaven. (1.4.20)
Clarence seems to have no inkling of Richard's evil and even goes so far as to defend him. Is it fair to assume that a family bond, especially one emphasized by their father, would be sacred? Is Clarence just being naïve and foolish?
Why, so. Now have I done a good day's
You peers, continue this united league.
I every day expect an embassage
From my Redeemer to redeem me hence;
And more at peace my soul shall part to heaven,
Since I have made my friends at peace on earth. (2.1.1)
King Edward believes that trying to forge unity in his family is a fitting final act, even though he basically just demands that everyone be friends as soon as they walk back in. Are the old enmities so weak that Edward can really assume an old fashioned "kiss and make up" session will cut it? Edward, in bringing his family together, seems to contradict his condemnation of Clarence. It seems that reckoning with death has made him realize the pettiness of his position. Are the others acting evil because they haven't reckoned with death and aren't considering the consequences of their actions come judgment day?
My brother killed no man-his fault was thought,
And yet his punishment was bitter death.
Who sued to me for him? Who, in my wrath,
Kneel'd at my feet, and bid me be advis'd?
Who spoke of brotherhood? Who spoke of love? (2.1.10)
Edward's pardon of Clarence, had he been able to give it, would have been based on their brotherhood, not on the fact that the original condemnation was unwarranted. This indicates that the Yorks do understand the importance of family ties, if not equal justice under the law. It's also a little unreasonable that Edward condemns the others for having the exact same blindness (or lack of compassion toward Clarence) that he had. He's making others the scapegoats for his own failings.