Nature in Richard III

While there were many motifs that made appearances in Richard III, references to trees and nature weren’t so prevalent. There are a few quotes about nature throughout the play, such as, “The wretched, bloody, and usurping boar, That spoil’d your summer fields and fruitful vines” (Act 5, Scene 2,  Lines 7-8). This quote discusses the nature of King Richard III, and how his power-hungry acts drained the happiness and positivity from the kingdom. Despite few quotes like this, there aren’t many other direct references to trees, flowers, and things that grow in this play. However, there are many references to the War of the Roses. Because the war is between the White Rose and the Red Rose, i.e. the two royal families of the time, it fits under the nature motif. The war is present throughout the entire play, seeing as Richard murders his own family members and close confidants to reach the throne, only to be destroyed and replaced by the Earl of Richmond. The evil nature behind Richard before and during his rule signifies the darkness of the war, and sets the stage for Richmond to expel the evil and end the war. When King Richard is defeated and Richmond delivers his final thoughts in the last act, he states, “We will unite the white rose and the red” (Act 5, Scene 5, Line 19). This is the most poignant reference to this motif in the entire play, because it directly talks about the War of the Roses, and it states that Richmond plans to end it. Not only does this quote tie up the references to nature in this play, it also ties up the conflict over power that was present all throughout Richard’s ascendance to the throne. While this play didn’t rely too much on references to nature, it did rely on the story between the White Roses and the Red Roses, and finishes with a peaceful ending, with plans to unite them and destroy the evil that Richard III brought.

 

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