What are Richmond's thoughts when preparing for battle with Richard, and after meeting the ghosts in his tent?I have to write a paper on this and I'm not to sure how to go about it. if any ideas?

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robertwilliam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Well, it's a little bit black and white, even for a history play. Richmond has a few meetings, with Stanley, and with his lords about the plans for the next day's battle, and goes to sleep with a head full of "troubled thoughts". Yet his last thoughts on preparing for battle come in - a suitably angelic - prayer, contrasting with Richard as Vice, as devil, as demonic:

O Thou Whose captain I account myself,
Look on my forces with a gracious eye;
Put in their hands Thy bruising irons of wrath,
That they may crush down with a heavy fall
The usurping helmets of our adversaries!
Make us Thy ministers of chastisement,
That we may praise Thee in Thy victory!
To Thee I do commend my watchful soul
Ere I let fall the windows of mine eyes:
Sleeping and waking, O, defend me still!

When, after the ghost scene, Richmond awakes, he feels fantastic:

How have you slept, my lord?

The sweetest sleep and fairest-boding dreams
That ever enter'd in a drowsy head
Have I since your departure had, my lords.
Methought their souls whose bodies Richard murder'd
Came to my tent and cried on victory:
I promise you, my heart is very jocund
In the remembrance of so fair a dream.

Richmond has a jocund, happy heart: the dream has lifted his spirit. And then his oration to his troops is similarly godly, juxtposing him as God's agent with Richard as a demon. It concludes with a promise to share the spoils if he wins:

Then, in the name of God and all these rights,
Advance your standards, draw your willing swords.
For me, the ransom of my bold attempt
Shall be this cold corpse on the earth's cold face;
But if I thrive, the gain of my attempt
The least of you shall share his part thereof.
Sound drums and trumpets boldly and cheerfully;
God and Saint George! Richmond and victory!

Read the study guide:
Richard III

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