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Act IV, Scene 2
The scene takes place on a plain in Warwickshire. Warwick and
Oxford enter with French soldiers. Warwick sees Clarence and
Somerset coming towards him and welcomes them and asks
whether they are his friends or not. He is given a favorable reply
and Warwick is very much pleased to see that Clarence has left his
own brother. He offers his daughter to Clarence in marriage.
Warwick observes that in the shade of the night, Edward's soldiers
are lurking about in the towns, and he is attended only by a simple
guard. He plans to knock off Edward's guard and seize Edward not
to slaughter but to surprise him. He asks the others also to back
him up in this attempt.
The short scene reveals the shifting alliances that are occurring in
the play. Warwick and Oxford plan to kidnap Edward and by doing
so, Henry will reclaim the throne. Warwick and Clarence meet up
and Warwick is so overjoyed that Clarence has left his own brother
and come to him that he offers him his daughter. In his speech, he
makes historical references.
'Our scouts have found the adventure very easy;
That, as Ulysses and stout Diomede
With sleight and manhood stole to Rhesus tents
And brought from thence the Thracian fatal steeds.'
The oracle had declared that Troy could not be taken if the horses
of Rhesus drank from the Xanthus and grazed on the Trojan plains.
The Greeks therefore sent Diomede and Ulyssus to intercept the
Thracian Prince when he came to bring help to Priam (Prince of
Troy). They killed him on the night of arrival and carried off the
horses. The night is also referred to with a sad tone. 'So we, well
covered with the night's black mantle.'
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