Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 3

page Act 1 Scene 3 Page 8

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QUEEN MARGARET

155 (aside) As little joy enjoys the queen thereof,
For I am she, and altogether joyless.
I can no longer hold me patient.

QUEEN MARGARET

(speaking so no one else can hear) No pleasure for the queen, indeed: I am the real queen, and the experience is completely joyless. I can no longer hold my tongue.
She steps forward
She moves forward so that everyone can see her.
Hear me, you wrangling pirates, that fall out
In sharing that which you have pilled from me!
160Which of you trembles not that looks on me?
If not, that I am queen, you bow like subjects,
Yet that, by you deposed, you quake like rebels.—
Ah, gentle villain, do not turn away.
Hear me, you wrangling pirates. You’re quarreling over what doesn’t even belong to you—you stole it from me! Which of you does not tremble when you see me? If you aren’t trembling because you know I am queen and you are my subjects, then you’re shaking because you threw me from the throne! (to RICHARD) Oh highborn villain, do not turn away!

RICHARD

Foul, wrinkled witch, what mak’st thou in my sight?

RICHARD

Ugly, wrinkled witch, what are you doing here?

QUEEN MARGARET

165But repetition of what thou hast marred.
That will I make before I let thee go.

QUEEN MARGARET

Only describing what you have ruined. Or at least that’s what I plan to do before I let you go.

RICHARD

Wert thou not banishèd on pain of death?

RICHARD

Weren’t you banished on pain of death?

QUEEN MARGARET

I was, but I do find more pain in banishment
Than death can yield me here by my abode.
170A husband and a son thou ow’st to me;
(to QUEEN ELIZABETH)
And thou a kingdom; —all of you, allegiance.
The sorrow that I have by right is yours,
And all the pleasures you usurp are mine.

QUEEN MARGARET

I was. But I felt more pain from exile than I would have from being dead here at home. You, Richard, owe me a husband and a son. The rest of you owe me a kingdom. And all of you owe me allegiance. The sorrow that I feel actually belongs to you, and the high life you enjoy actually belongs to me. You stole it from me.

RICHARD

175The curse my noble father laid on thee
When thou didst crown his warlike brows with paper,
And with thy scorns drew’st rivers from his eyes,
And then, to dry them, gav’st the duke a clout
Steeped in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland—
180His curses then, from bitterness of soul
Denounced against thee, are all fall'n upon thee,
And God, not we, hath plagued thy bloody deed.

RICHARD

To stop up his tears, you handed him a rag soaked with the blood of his own child. God, not us, is responsible for punishing you for your bloody deed.