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Act V, Scene 3 & 4
The scene is another part of the field where Edward enters with
Richard, George and others. He expresses his fear of having to face
defeat at the hands of the Queen's powerful army, just like a black
cloud threatening a bright sunny day. George says a little gale will
disperse that cloud. Richard informs them that the Queen is strong
with thirty thousand men, but Edward satisfies himself saying that
they are the best at Barnet field and self-sufficient.
In scene 4 Queen Margaret, Prince Edward, Somerset, Oxford and
soldiers enter the plains at Tewkesbury. The queen advises the
lords not to sit and wail their loss but seek how to redress their
harms. They should be like the captain of a ship, who remains calm
and confident even during the roughest times and gives strength to
his crew. If he moans, the ship will split on the rock. Warwick who
was their anchor and Montague who was their top-mast have
perished. But Oxford is here as another anchor and Somerset
another good mast. She encourages them to be brave and
courageous. The Prince says that even a coward will be inspired to
hear his mother's inspiring words. He says a fearful man should
leave and go away or else he will infect others with his fear.
Oxford congratulates the prince for his courage and says that he
resembles his grandfather, Henry V. He says it is a shame that
warriors should fear when women and children like the queen and
the prince are so brave. A messenger arrives and warns them of
Edward's approach. Both the armies come face to face, and
Edward and Margaret give the orders to fight. The Queen again
appeals to the people to fight sincerely to restore peace in the
country and see to it that justice is done to their king who is a
prisoner now. She encourages them to be valiant and gives the
signal to fight.
Scene 3 and 4 show both camps before the battle and it is up to the
audience to decide who seems to be the better equipped army.
Although Edward expresses fear of being overcome by the queen's
army, he is also optimistic as he knows that he has the people
'But in the midst of this bright-shining day
I spy a black suspicious threatening cloud
That will encounter with cut glorious sun.'
'Will thither straight, for willingness rids way;
And as we march our strength will be augmented
In every country as we go along.'
Scene 4 begins with the Queen's speech to the lords and other
people. Her extended metaphor of the strength of her army and its
ability to win is quite eloquent and she, unlike her husband, has a
capacity to rouse spirits and galvanize the troops. Her valiant and
bold nature are brought out here as well as her ideas on leadership.
Only if the captain acts according to the demands of the moment,
can the crew and the ship survive. The Prince is moved by this
speech and adds to her speech, saying anyone who has fear in him
should leave, or else he may infect the others in his group with his
fear. Although the Queen's army is less fit now that they have lost
two of their leaders, they are motivated to enter the fray.
King Edward enters the Richard George and soldiers. Both armies
fight with each other.
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