| Quote #4
Shakespeare does some of his best writing when echoing the beauty of nature. Clarence's dreams extol both the wonder and dread of the ocean. It's rich with the goods of jewels and profit of men, which represent the inevitability of death. All the stuff we amass in life turns into nothing but food for the fish, or the worms (as in Hamlet). Human mortality is contrasted with boundless, unconcerned nature. A man's life amounts to nothing but what he was. Clarence fears death, and Richard has yet to face it. This poetic passage is a precursor to Shakespeare's later writing. The mortality theme is reminiscent of the "full fathoms give thy father lies" speech of The Tempest, and the richness of the imagery suggests the scene where Cleopatra descends down the Nile in Antony and Cleopatra.
| Quote #5
The toils of man are contrasted with nature, which creeps steadily along, night and day, regardless of whether man lives or dies. Men are nothing special to the natural world. Their status in society may lead to nothing but heartache. Their titles mean nothing when faced with the great equalizer, death.
| Quote #6
The citizens make sense of the political events of the play with reference to the predictable events of nature. Men are just a part of nature, no more impenetrable than the simplest facts of the natural world. In the end, nature is the mysterious work of God. No matter what the men fear or hope, God will decide how things turn out, both for nature and men.