Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 3

page Act 1 Scene 3 Page 10

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QUEEN MARGARET

200 (to QUEEN ELIZABETH)
Edward thy son, that now is Prince of Wales,
For Edward our son, that was Prince of Wales,
Die in his youth by like untimely violence.
Thyself a queen, for me that was a queen,
205Outlive thy glory, like my wretched self.
Long mayst thou live to wail thy children’s death
And see another, as I see thee now,
Decked in thy rights, as thou art stalled in mine.
Long die thy happy days before thy death,
210And, after many lengthened 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 stabbed with bloody daggers. God I pray Him
215That none of you may live his natural age,
But by some unlooked accident cut off.

QUEEN MARGARET

(to QUEEN ELIZABETH) Though your king did not die in battle, let him die from overindulging his appetites, as my husband was murdered to make your husband king. May your son Edward, who is currently the prince of Wales, die young and violently, as payback for the death of my son Edward, the former prince of Wales. And may you outlive your glory just as miserably as I have, to make up for taking my position as queen. May you live long enough to mourn your children’s deaths and watch another woman enjoy the throne, as I now watch you. Let your happy days die long before you do. After many extended hours of grief, may you die neither a mother, a wife, nor England’s queen. Rivers, Dorset, and Lord Hastings, you all stood by as my son was stabbed. For his sake, I pray to God that none of you die a natural death but have your lives cut short by some unforeseen accident.

RICHARD

Have done thy charm, thou hateful, withered hag.

RICHARD

Enough of your magic spells, you hateful, withered hag.

QUEEN MARGARET

And leave out thee? Stay, dog, for thou shalt hear me.
If heaven have any grievous plague in store
220Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee,
O, let them keep it till thy sins be ripe
And then hurl down their indignation
On thee, the troubler of the poor world’s peace.
The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul.
225Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou liv’st,
And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends.
No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine,
Unless it be while some tormenting dream
Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils.

QUEEN MARGARET

And leave you out? Don’t move, dog. It’s your turn now. If heaven has any plagues beyond what I can drum up, let it wait until your

sins

Margaret wants Richard to die only after committing the maximum number of sins, so he can be guaranteed a greater punishment in Hell.

sins
are piled high and then hurl them down on you, you destroyer of a whole world of peace! May conscience eat away at your soul constantly. May you suspect your true friends of being traitors and take the worst traitors as your closest friends. May you never sleep a wink except to dream of a hell full of ugly devils.