AuthorName: William Shakespeare
Eras: 1601-1700, 1501-1600
PlayName: Richard III
Rating: Suitable for all ages
Copyright Status: Public domain
CharacterName: Queen Margaret
Age Range: 30s - Late, 40s - Early, 40s - Late, 50s
Dialects: Standard American, Standard English
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What were you snarling all before I came, Ready to catch each other by the...View Full Monologue Text
What were you snarling all before I came,
Ready to catch each other by the throat,
And turn you all your hatred now on me?
Did York's dread curse prevail so much with heaven?
That Henry's death, my lovely Edward's death,
Their kingdom's loss, my woful banishment,
Could all but answer for that peevish brat?
Can curses pierce the clouds and enter heaven?
Why, then, give way, dull clouds, to my quick curses!
If not by war, by surfeit die your king,
As ours by murder, to make him a king!
Edward thy son, which now is Prince of Wales,
For Edward my son, which was Prince of Wales,
Die in his youth by like untimely violence!
Thyself a queen, for me that was a queen,
Outlive thy glory, like my wretched self!
Long mayst thou live to wail thy children's loss;
And see another, as I see thee now,
Deck'd in thy rights, as thou art stall'd in mine!
Long die thy happy days before thy death;
And, after many lengthen'd hours of grief,
Die neither mother, wife, nor England's queen!
Rivers and Dorset, you were standers by,
And so wast thou, Lord Hastings, when my son
Was stabb'd with bloody daggers: God, I pray him,
That none of you may live your natural age,
But by some unlook'd accident cut off!
Queen Margaret is the widow of Henry VI (a Lancastrian king who was murdered by Richard in Henry VI, Part Three as well as her son, Edward). During the play, she forecasts vengeance for herself and destruction for her enemies. She becomes a choric figure: offering her opinion on the play's action, and prophesying doom and misery on Richard and his supporters.
In this monologue, Queen Margaret returns in defiance of her banishment and warns the squabbling nobles about Richard as well as cursing them all.