Richard III

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The Boar Symbol Analysis

The Boar Symbol Icon
The boar is Richard's heraldic symbol and represents him several times during the play: in Queen Margaret's speech (she calls him an "elvish-marked, abortive, rooting hog"); in Lord Stanley's dream (he sees the boar knocking off Hastings' helmet); and in the Earl of Richmond's speech to his troops (he calls Richard a "foul swine"). However, the boar doesn't just symbolize Richard because it happens to appear on his coat of arms. As an animal commonly associated with violent aggression in Elizabethan England, the boar is also a fitting symbol for Richard's bloody and relentlessly antagonistic spirit.
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The Boar Symbol Timeline in Richard III

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Boar appears in Richard III. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 3
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...and to be unable to sleep without nightmares. She calls him an "elvish-marked, abortive, rooting hog," calls Elizabeth a fool for taking Richard's side against Margaret, and says the queen will... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
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...4 a.m. with an urgent message from Lord Stanley recounting a dream in which " the boar " [Richard's heraldic symbol] knocked off Stanley's helmet and decapitated him. That dream, combined with... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
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...urges everyone to march on in order to attain peace by killing Richard, the "foul swine" who "swills your warm blood like wash, and makes his trough in your embowell'd bosoms."... (full context)