A Study of the Dramatic Roles of Women in Richard III Essay

1414 Words 6 Pages
There are five female characters in the play Richard III. Of these five there are four central female characters; the Duchess of York, Richard's mother; Anne who later becomes Richard's wife; Queen Margaret who was the former queen and Richard's arch enemy and Queen Elizabeth, the current queen. The final female character who plays a minor role in the play is Queen Elizabeth's daughter, Elizabeth, but she is merely a pawn in Richard's plan and we never meet her. Each woman has a significant role in Richard III and is vital to the script.

Anne is the first female character that we meet in the text (act 1 scene 2), which is where she is wooed by the ultimate villain in the play, Richard.
…show more content…
She is a fool to be charmed in this way against all the odds and to be made believe that he killed them for her. She realises her mistake later on in the play but by then it is too late and she is killed.

The woman whom we meet next is my favourite character in the play because she too is a victim like many others in the play, but is the only one who manages to defeat Richard. This is Queen Elizabeth.

Queen Elizabeth is a passive character throughout most of the play until she is no longer queen. As I have already mentioned Queen Elizabeth is a victim in the play but more so than any of the other characters because her husband dies of ill health due to Richard's scheming and lies, and then her two sons are murdered due to Richard's demands, but she still stays strong enough to send her remaining son abroad to save him. Her dramatic role in Richard III is to show that evil can be overthrown. She is Richard's victim throughout until she deceives him by making him believe that he will take her young daughter in marriage 'I go. Write to me very shortly, /And you shall understand from me her mind.' In this scene we see Queen Elizabeth in a different light, not as a grieving widow or mother, but as a strong, determined character that is intent on overthrowing her tormentor. She sees a chance to be Richard's victor and
Open Document