Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 3

page Act 1 Scene 3 Page 11

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QUEEN MARGARET

230Thou elvish-marked, abortive, rooting hog,
Thou that wast sealed in thy nativity
The slave of nature and the son of hell,
Thou slander of thy heavy mother’s womb,
Thou loathèd issue of thy father’s loins,
235Thou rag of honor, thou detested—

QUEEN MARGARET

You deformed, prematurely born, rooting hog, you evil birth defect, you insult to your mother’s womb, you hated disgrace to your father’s sperm, you disgusting—

RICHARD

     Margaret.

RICHARD

Margaret.

QUEEN MARGARET

Richard!

QUEEN MARGARET

Richard.

RICHARD

   Ha?

RICHARD

Yes?

QUEEN MARGARET

I call thee not.

QUEEN MARGARET

I didn’t call you.

RICHARD

I cry thee mercy, then, for I did think
That thou hadst called me all these bitter names.

RICHARD

I beg your pardon—I thought it was me whom you were calling all those terrible names.

QUEEN MARGARET

240Why, so I did, but looked for no reply.
O, let me make the period to my curse!

QUEEN MARGARET

Yes, I was, but I don’t want an answer from you. Let me finish my curse.

RICHARD

'Tis done by me, and ends in “Margaret.”

RICHARD

I’ve finished it for you, and it ends in “Margaret.”

QUEEN ELIZABETH

(to QUEEN MARGARET)
Thus have you breathed your curse against yourself.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

He’s turned your curse against you, Margaret.

QUEEN MARGARET

245Poor painted queen, vain flourish of my fortune,
Why strew’st thou sugar on that bottled spider,
Whose deadly web ensnareth thee about?
Fool, fool, thou whet’st a knife to kill thyself.
The day will come that thou shalt wish for me
250To help thee curse that poisonous bunch-backed toad.

QUEEN MARGARET

Poor imitation queen, why do you align yourself with this humpbacked spider when he’s got you trapped in his deadly web? Fool! You’re sharpening a knife to cut yourself. The day will come when you’ll wish I could help you cast spells against this poisonous, hunchbacked toad.

HASTINGS

False-boding woman, end thy frantic curse,
Lest to thy harm thou move our patience.

HASTINGS

Woman, stop your frantic curses and false prophesies before we run out of patience and do something bad to you.