Richard III Man and the Natural World Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Norton edition.
So much for that. The silent hours steal on,
And flaky darkness breaks within the east.
In brief, for so the season bids us be,
Prepare thy battle early in the morning, (5.5.2)
A beautiful new day is dawning on the battlefield. It's no coincidence that it's a new dawn for England too, as Richard will not last past the sunset.
Tell the clock there. Give me a calendar.
Who saw the sun to-day?
Not I, my lord.
Then he disdains to shine; for by the book
He should have brav'd the east an hour ago.
A black day will it be to somebody.
The sun will not be seen to-day;
The sky doth frown and lour upon our army.
I would these dewy tears were from the ground.
Not shine to-day! Why, what is that to me
More than to Richmond? For the selfsame heaven
That frowns on me looks sadly upon him. (5.6.3)
Richmond's camp has actually already begun to see the dawn breaking – they've been preparing for this morning for quite some time. Richard comforts himself by thinking that if he can't see the sun, Richmond can't either. He doesn't think about the fact that he has reveled in being unnatural for the whole play. The bounty of nature's days will not shine on him as it will on Richmond, a wholly natural creature in alignment with all that's good and right. Richmond will righteously go out to greet the sun, both literally and metaphorically in battle. (And also in the sense that he will unite with the daughter of Edward IV, whose family symbol was the sun.)