Richard III

The Boar Symbol Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
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.

The Boar Quotes in Richard III

The Richard III quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Boar. 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
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Richard III published in 1996.
Act 1, Scene 3 Quotes

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

Related Characters: Queen Margaret (speaker), Richard, Duke of Gloucester, King Richard III
Related Symbols: The Boar
Page Number: 1.3.239-241
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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Act 5, Scene 2 Quotes

The wretched, bloody, and usurping boar,
That spoil'd your summer fields and fruitful vines,
Swills your warm blood like wash, and makes his trough
In your embowelled bosoms—this foul swine
Is now even in the centre of this isle

Related Characters: Richmond, King Henry VII (speaker), Richard, Duke of Gloucester, King Richard III
Related Symbols: The Boar
Page Number: 5.2.7-12
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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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
Language Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
...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
Power Theme Icon
Language Theme Icon
...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
Power Theme Icon
The Throne and the State Theme Icon
Language Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
...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)