Richard III


William Shakespeare

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Queen Margaret Character Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
Widow of Henry VI and mother of Edward of Westminster (both murdered by Richard), Margaret is bitter, sharp-tongued, grief-addled, and determined to make the living pay for her lost husband, son, and throne. The curses she casts at the start of the play are successively fulfilled in later subsequent scenes.

Queen Margaret Quotes in Richard III

The Richard III quotes below are all either spoken by Queen Margaret or refer to Queen Margaret. 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:
Power Theme Icon
Act 1, Scene 3 Quotes

Can curses pierce the clouds and enter heaven? –
Why, then, give way, dull clouds, to my quick curses!

Related Characters: Queen Margaret (speaker)
Page Number: 1.3.203-205
Explanation and Analysis:

Thou elvish-marked, abortive, rooting hog,
Thou that wast sealed in thy nativity
The slave of nature and the son of hell.

Related Symbols: The Boar
Page Number: 1.3.239-241
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 4, Scene 4 Quotes

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.

Page Number: 4.4.42-45
Explanation and Analysis:

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.

Page Number: 4.4.121-126
Explanation and Analysis:
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Queen Margaret Character Timeline in Richard III

The timeline below shows where the character Queen Margaret 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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The Throne and the State Theme Icon
Queen Margaret , the wife of King Henry VI and mother of Edward of Westminster, enters unnoticed.... (full context)
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Queen Margaret 's accusations grow louder and Richard notices her. He asks why she is in England... (full context)
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Women Theme Icon
Queen Margaret starts hurling curses. She curses Elizabeth to "outlive [her] glory," her children, her husband, and... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
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The Throne and the State Theme Icon
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Women Theme Icon
...guilty closure" of Pomfret Castle in which King Richard II was murdered. Grey notes that Queen Margaret 's curse on them has come true. Rivers responds by hoping that God will fulfill... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
The Throne and the State Theme Icon
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...his own horse's strange unwillingness to approach the Tower that day. He cries out that Queen Margaret 's curse on him has been fulfilled. Ratcliffe and Lovel shush Hastings and hurry him... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
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At the Palace, Queen Margaret enters alone, saying that she's been hiding in the Palace all along, watching "the waning... (full context)