Richard III

Queen Elizabeth Character Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
Wife to King Edward and mother to Edward Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, and a daughter (also named Elizabeth) whom Richmond eventually marries, Elizabeth is progressively devastated by Richard's rise as he murders first her allies, Earl Rivers, Lord Grey, and Sir Vaughan, then her young sons, and then tries to marry her daughter.

Queen Elizabeth Quotes in Richard III

The Richard III quotes below are all either spoken by Queen Elizabeth or refer to Queen Elizabeth. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Simon & Schuster edition of Richard III published in 1996.
Act 1, Scene 3 Quotes

Cannot a plain man live, and think no harm,
But thus his simple truth must be abus'd
With silken, sly, insinuating Jacks?

Related Characters: Richard, Duke of Gloucester, King Richard III (speaker), Queen Elizabeth
Page Number: 1.3.52-43
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 2, Scene 4 Quotes

Ay me, I see the ruin of my house!
The tiger now hath seiz'd the gentle hind;
Insulting tyranny begins to jet
Upon the innocent and aweless throne.
Welcome, destruction, blood, and massacre!
I see, as in a map, the end of all.

Related Characters: Queen Elizabeth (speaker), Richard, Duke of Gloucester, King Richard III
Page Number: 2.4.54-59
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 4, Scene 4 Quotes

Ah, my poor princes! ah, my tender babes!
My unblown flowers, new-appearing sweets!
If yet your gentle souls fly in the air
And be not fix'd in doom perpetual,
Hover about me with your airy wings
And hear your mother's lamentation!

Related Characters: Queen Elizabeth (speaker), Edward, Prince of Wales, Duke of York
Page Number: 4.4.10-15
Explanation and Analysis:

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I had an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him;
I had a Harry, till a Richard kill'd him:
Thou hadst an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him;
Thou hadst a Richard, till a Richard kill'd him.

Related Characters: Queen Margaret (speaker), Richard, Duke of Gloucester, King Richard III, Queen Elizabeth, King Edward IV, Ghost of King Henry VI, Ghost of Edward of Westminster
Page Number: 4.4.42-45
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Forbear to sleep the nights, and fast the days;
Compare dead happiness with living woe;
Think that thy babes were fairer than they were,
And he that slew them fouler than he is:
Bettering thy loss makes the bad causer worse:
Revolving this will teach thee how to curse.

Related Characters: Queen Margaret (speaker), Richard, Duke of Gloucester, King Richard III, Queen Elizabeth
Page Number: 4.4.121-126
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Bear her my true love's kiss; and so, farewell.
[Exit QUEEN ELIZABETH]
Relenting fool, and shallow, changing woman!

Related Characters: Richard, Duke of Gloucester, King Richard III (speaker), Queen Elizabeth
Page Number: 4.4.453-454
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Queen Elizabeth Character Timeline in Richard III

The timeline below shows where the character Queen Elizabeth appears in Richard III. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
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...that he will be murdered by a ‘G.' Richard explains that Edward's domineering wife, Queen Elizabeth, must be behind this, as she recently convinced her husband to imprison Lord Hastings, who... (full context)
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..."we speak no treason," he says, he and Clarence are just complimenting King Richard, Queen Elizabeth, and their relatives. Brackenbury apologizes. Richard promises Clarence he will do everything possible to free... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 3
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The Throne and the State Theme Icon
Queen Elizabeth, Elizabeth's brother Earl Rivers, and Lord Grey worriedly discuss King Edward's health at the Palace.... (full context)
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...King Edward. They report that the king wants to make peace between Richard and Queen Elizabeth's brothers. Richard enters complaining that Elizabeth and her friends have slandered him to the king.... (full context)
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...and mother of Edward of Westminster, enters unnoticed. She berates everyone under her breath, accusing Elizabeth of stealing the throne that belongs to her, and accusing Richard of killing her husband... (full context)
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Queen Margaret starts hurling curses. She curses Elizabeth to "outlive [her] glory," her children, her husband, and her throne, as Margaret has. She... (full context)
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Sir William Catesby enters with a message from King Edward, who calls Elizabeth, Rivers and the other lords to his bedside. All exit but Richard, who recounts with... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
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Back at the Palace, King Edward announces to Queen Elizabeth, Dorset, Rivers, Hastings, Buckingham, Grey, and others that, though he is near death, he feels... (full context)
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...to keep friendly peace and claims he has no enemies in all of England. Queen Elizabeth asks the King to forgive Clarence and, when Richard interjects that Clarence is dead, everyone... (full context)
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Richard notes to Buckingham how pale "the guilty kindred" of Queen Elizabeth looked upon hearing Clarence was killed. "O, they did urge it still unto the king!"... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
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Queen Elizabeth enters distraught with Rivers and Dorset, and reports that King Edward is dead. The Duchess... (full context)
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Dorset and Rivers interrupt the women to urge Queen Elizabeth to have her son, young Edward Prince of Wales, crowned immediately. Richard, Buckingham, Stanley, Hastings,... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 3
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...maternal and fraternal uncles are factious and include the dangerous Richard and haughty relatives of Elizabeth. "…were they to be rul'd, and not to rule," the citizen speculates, "This sickly land... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 4
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In a room at the Palace, the Archbishop of York, Queen Elizabeth, the Duchess, and the young Duke of York (young Edward Prince of Wales' younger brother)... (full context)
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...Thomas Vaughan have been imprisoned by Richard and Buckingham. He doesn't know for what offense. Elizabeth laments "the ruin of my house" and the Duchess cries out that she'd rather die... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
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...The Lord Mayor of London enters and welcomes Edward. Hastings enters and reports that Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of York have taken sanctuary and thus can't come to meet the... (full context)
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...discuss how to crown Richard instead. Richard further tells Catesby to inform Hastings that Queen Elizabeth's captive relatives (Hastings' enemies) will be killed the next day at Pomfret Castle. Catesby exits.... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
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...Buckingham, and Hastings, but hopes that his own shed blood will exempt his sister Queen Elizabeth and her sons from any misfortune. They exit to be executed. (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
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...killed. Richard extends a withered arm as evidence of witchcraft worked against him by Queen Elizabeth and Mistress Shore. When Hastings' hesitates to agree the women are guilty, Richard orders Hastings... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
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At the Tower, Queen Elizabeth enters on one side with the Duchess and Dorset while Anne, now Richard's wife, and... (full context)
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Stanley enters and summons Anne to Westminster to be crowned Richard's queen. Elizabeth wails in grief at the news of Richard becoming king. Anne, too, is distraught and... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
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...mine enemies" before she heads off to France. She steps back into hiding when Queen Elizabeth and the Duchess enter. The two of them are crazed with grief at the murder... (full context)
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Elizabeth dittoes the Duchess' curse and starts to leave but Richard stops her and says he... (full context)
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Elizabeth rebuts all Richard's attempts to coax her into taking his side, calling him an evil... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 5
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...will behead him if he finds out about Stanley's betrayal. Stanley also tells Urswick that Elizabeth has gladly agreed to give Richmond her daughter's hand in marriage. Urswick lists the many... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 5
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...white rose and the red rose (the Houses of York and Lancaster) by marrying Queen Elizabeth's daughter. He declares "smooth'd-fac'd peace" for England from now on and prays to God for... (full context)