| Quote #7
First of all, this is gross. Vile Richard is offering to impregnate a young lady to make up for murdering her brothers – and he's talking about it to her mom. (Sorry, we just had to get that out of the way.) Anyway, Richard again seems to view justice as eye-for-an-eye. He figures he can make up for everything he's done by giving what he considers "equal payback." He took the kingdom from Elizabeth's sons, so he'll give it back to Elizabeth's daughter. He took Elizabeth's sons from her, but he'll have children with her daughter to keep the bloodline going. Because he lacks real moral faculties, Richard sees things as fairly tit-for-tat. He has an aberrant sense of justice.
| Quote #8
Margaret also has a tit-for-tat sense of justice. Maybe she's already lamented her losses enough, because it seems like all she lives for is revenge. She matches up the dead on either side like they're chess pieces instead of treating them like children and men. What irritates her the most, though, is that all the deaths aren't avenged fully until Richard is dead. Only once pretty much all the children of the women in the room are dead does Margaret think everyone will be even. (More important, Margaret's cool cruelty here gives us a look at a kind of villainy that's different from the passionate villainy we've seen in Richard.)
| Quote #9
This has the seed of the important line from Shakespeare's Hamlet, "For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" (Hamlet 2.2). This might be totally inadvertent, but it seems the entire ethos of Richard III is summed up here: moral relativism is at the heart of the play. Choosing moral stances depends on one's perspective, and having been led along by Richard as our protagonist, we can hardly tell the good from the bad anymore. This is why we can feel almost delighted with Richard, and why it's hard to relate to his victims (at least in the beginning). This moral relativism will plague Hamlet in that later, more refined play, but to Richard, the idea of moral relativism is a mere riddle to be puzzled out, not a paralyzing metaphysical quandary.