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Richard III Family Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Norton edition.

Quote #7

Ah, so much interest have I in thy sorrow
As I had title in thy noble husband!
I have bewept a worthy husband's death,
And liv'd with looking on his images;
But now two mirrors of his princely semblance
Are crack'd in pieces by malignant death,
And I for comfort have but one false glass,
That grieves me when I see my shame in him.
Thou art a widow, yet thou art a mother
And hast the comfort of thy children left;
But death hath snatch'd my husband from mine arms
And pluck'd two crutches from my feeble hands-
Clarence and Edward. O, what cause have I-
Thine being but a moiety of my moan-
To overgo thy woes and drown thy cries? (2.2.7)

The Duchess seems to be comparing her grief to Queen Elizabeth's, as though one could quantify this sort of thing. The real cause of all of this despair is that the Duchess is watching her family crumble. She doesn't lament the destruction of the kingdom, or even the entire house of York, so much as the loss of her support system.

Quote #8

My lord, whoever journeys to the Prince,
For God sake, let not us two stay at home;
For by the way I'll sort occasion,
As index to the story we late talk'd of,
To part the queen's proud kindred from the Prince.
My other self, my counsel's consistory,
My oracle, my prophet, my dear cousin,
I, as a child, will go by thy direction.
Toward Ludlow then, for we'll not stay behind. (2.2.3)

As Richard talks about separating his nephews from their uncles by whatever means necessary, he embraces Buckingham as part of his family. Buckingham probably should've taken the hint that being in Richard's family was likely more a curse than an occasion for picnics and road trips.

Quote #9

So stood the state when Henry the Sixth
Was crown'd in Paris but at nine months old.
Stood the state so? No, no, good friends,
God wot;
For then this land was famously enrich'd
With politic grave counsel; then the king
Had virtuous uncles to protect his Grace.
Why, so hath this, both by his father and
Better it were they all came by his father,
Or by his father there were none at all;
For emulation who shall now be nearest
Will touch us all too near, if God prevent not.
O, full of danger is the Duke of Gloucester!
And the queen's sons and brothers haught and proud;
And were they to be rul'd, and not to rule,
This sickly land might solace as before. (2.3.5)

The citizens provide some perspective here. They're aware of the family drama, with Prince Edward's uncles being on opposite sides, but they remind the reader that the drama of the play is not just within the family. The internal saga of the York family is actually a national political drama. Still, despite these brief glimpses of the outside world, the play mostly revolves around the Yorks, blurring the line between political history and family drama.

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