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Act V, Scene 5
Somerset and Oxford are captured and Edward orders them to take
Oxford to Hames Castle and behead Somerset. The queen bids
them farewell and says that they shall meet with joy in sweet
Jerusalem. Prince Edward is also captured and King Edward
mocks him for being so impudent. The Prince condemns Edward
and says he is a traitor when Edward threatens to harm his tongue.
He continues to insult the Yorkist leaders and eventually Edward,
Richard and George stab him and he dies. The desperate Queen
laments the death of her son and calls them traitors and murders.
She condemns them for being so cruel. Edward orders her to be
taken away and George says that Richard has gone to London to
make a bloody supper in the Tower. Edward decides to go and see
his queen hoping that by this time she will have a baby for him.
The scene marks the defeat of the Queen and her army as well as
the death of Prince Edward. Oxford is ordered to be executed and
Somerset to be beheaded. At the time of parting the Queen bids
them a sad farewell. Her words are significant because the
sentiment seems out of character for Margaret. She finds this world
full of troubles and she appears to be torn by civil wars and
conflicts going on around her. She wishes for death because she
hopes to find joy in sweet Jerusalem or heaven. This shows how
tired and mentally exhausted she is.
Prince Edward is portrayed as a brave and chivalrous youth
resembling his grandfather. He boldly calls Edward and his
brothers traitors and Richard a crouchback. His mother
congratulates him on his insouciance but unfortunately the York
brothers are insulted and angered enough to kill him for his acerbic
comments. This scene reveals the brutality that reigns within the
York family. Margaret becomes a sympathetic figure as she
condemns them for killing a child. She remarks astutely that if they
had children they would never take the life of one. Here she
reflects on the innocent children who have suffered because of the
family fighting. Meanwhile, unaffected by her pleas, Gloucester
leaves to finish off the king at the Tower while Edward sees to his
wife and upcoming child. The irony in Margaret's speech is that
both Edward and George's children will die by their brother's hand
in the sequel to this play, Richard III.
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