Shakespeare – The Women of Richard III


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In Richard III act 1 scene 2-3, Elizabeth characterized as a suffering women underwent under the leadership of King Richard III. The king treats Elizabeth as a tool to further his status. She is despised and she fears that Richard will hurt her family when her husband dies and he takes over the throne.

Lady Anne is characterized as mourning the loss of family members, she is windowed after the death of Edward Prince of Wales. She is married   to Richard. She curses where  Richard “O, cursèd be the hand that made these holes; Cursed the heart that had the heart to do it; Cursèd the blood that let this blood from hence” (1.2.15). King Richard is not genuinely in love with her but only uses her as a conduit to power via her family.

Margaret is characterized as always opposed to the killings King Richard conducted, which can be seen in her cursing. He has also caused her pain in life, which she regrets and curse.  Margaret is considered a less important person. She is a former queen who has lost authority.  Nobody takes her serious and nobody cares to listen to her, even though she speaks the truth and her curses are liked to prophecies that come true. She too had lost a husband, who had made her important.

The Lady Anne, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Margaret, all of them characterized to bring out an image of how women were the underlying voices of ethics and morality in the rotten society. The three women are suffering under the rule of Richard, but at the same time they are opposed to his misrule cruelty of Richard. Both of the women belong to the royal families and have lost their husbands, leading to Richard taking advantage of them.


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