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Queen Margaret Critical Analysis

Decent Essays
Queen Margaret: The Portrait of Fortune’s Fool Through advancing the play’s dramatic, thematic and political growth, Queen Margaret is a force to be reckoned with in William Shakespeare’s Richard III. She affects the play dramatically through creating foreshadowing and contributing to Richard’s character development. Thematically, Margaret deepens the play’s central views by demonstrating the wheel of fortune’s merciless nature, the futility of human prowess against fate’s plans, and that conscience is a dangerous device. By contrast, Margaret holds little political influence throughout Richard III, due to her fallen status. Her impact in instigating these developments is crucial to the play as a whole, and throws the concept of guilt, fate, and divine knowledge into question. It is expected that Queen Margaret - a former queen of England, cast aside by the York family after her husband’s death – holds almost no political power in the play. Her lack of influence successfully highlights the play’s undertones focused on powerless female suffering, matching the misogynistic views dominant in Elizabethan society. Margaret’s voice is oppressed by others, evident when Richard scoffs, “Foul wrinkled witch, what mak’st thou in my sight?” (1.3.162-163). Margaret has reached rock bottom; she is viewed as a pariah, serving as nothing more than a nuisance. Therefore, her pathetic standing with the court exhibits her loss of political influence, exemplified further when Margaret
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