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How Margaret's Curse Affects Richard III

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1284 words Published: 8th May 2017

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In the play, Richard has many agendas to perform in order to reach his objective as to be a king of England. In such a way that he is manipulating the situations to eventually eliminate the potential heir and then makes him the eligible heir of the king of England. His evil actions came to the attention of Queen Margaret whereby Queen Margaret had lost her husband and her son that their death should be obligated to Richard. It is because Margaret claimed that Richard had killed both of them. Margaret curses Richard whereby she said that Richard is to be friends of traitors and betrayed by friends. However, the curse does not affect Richard III even though he discovers one by one of his trusted men turn against him. He is still proceed with his dirty plans to get the throne and kills anyone who is he found to be a traitor. For examples, in the Act IV, scene ii, Richard suspects that Buckingham is no longer a firm supporter because Buckingham refuses to kill Queen Elizabeth children. Hence, Richard hires Tyrell to kill the children. As a result Buckingham is no more favor to Richard and leaving him bitter. Consequently, Buckingham joins Richmond to claim the crown from Richard. In a second issue, Stanley actually supports for Richmond but because of his son is detained by Richard, than he forces himself to follow Richard. As stated in Act IV.iv 500, “Go then and muster men, but leave behind your son George Stanley. Look your heart be firm. Or else his head’s assurance is but frail”. However, during the battle someone told him that Stanley is gone over to Richmond. Richard wants to kill Stanley’s son but there is no time for him to execute the murder (Act V.iii). Even he knows that his trusty and loyalty friends started to betray him but he is not treated those issues as a reminder to him of the curses made by Margaret. It can be concluded that he is not afraid by these occurrences.

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Nevertheless, reflects to another curse by Margaret to Richard when she said, “no sleep close up that deadly eye of thine, unless it be while some tormenting dream. Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils” (Act I.iii.227-229). The curse does affect Richard behavior when he wakes up with terrifying and started to speak to himself and realizes that he is a villain and recalls the hateful deeds he committed too (Act V.iii.205-215). He dreams about the ghosts that whom he killed and all of them say “despair and die! (Act V.iii). Perhaps we could see that Richard feels threaten by the ghosts haunted in his dream. To him the appearing of the ghosts in his dream indicates a bad sign in the war. In fact he tells Ratchliffe about his dream that, “have struck more terror to the soul of Richard than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers armed in proof and led by shallow Richmond” (Act V.iii.230-235). Consequently, he quickly checks the tents to make sure that his armies do not betray him (Act V.iii.233-235). Usually, when we want to do something in our lives, we dream about things which is related to the matters that we intend to do. It is a set of believe that dreams is a sort of signs to us whether we should proceed with what we have planned or discontinue it. Overall, I think this is what happens to Richard when his dream reminds him of the curse from Margaret.

2. To what extent does Margaret predict the future of Richard III?

Queen Margaret is known as the prophetess. Each of the people she cursed in the play receives the consequences. Everyone who is in Richard list are died or murdered by him. Of that, Queen Margaret says, ” but at hand, at hand ensues his piteous and unpitied end. Earth gapes, hell burns…. Cancel his bond of life, dear God I pray, that I may live to say, “The dog is dead” (Act IV.iv 75-80). By means that Richard III turn will soon come and Margaret’s foretell that Richard will die in tragic. Before the battle, Richard has friend who is turn against him i.e Hastings. During the battle, Buckingham betrays him when Buckingham joins Richmond in the battle for bearing the crown. It is due to Richard does not favor Buckingham anymore. Also, Stanley is on the side of Richmond to fight with Richard III. At first, Stanley is giving his service to Richard. However, he forced to do so as Richard is detained her son, George. If ever Richard found that Stanley betray him, he will beheaded George. Hence, with all these matters occurred, it is convinced that Margaret curses to Richard III come true. Richard looses all his trusted friends and his left hand men to fight in the battle. Eventually, he is unable to fight Richmond and his horse is killed (Act V.iv.4). Richmond kills Richard III and says, “God and your arms be praised, victorious friends! The day is ours; the bloody dog is dead” (Act V.v.1-2). As a conclusion, the prediction from Margaret about Richard III is really happens when he died in a tragic way and called by “the bloody dog is dead”.

3. Do you think Shakespeare wrote this historical tragedy outlining a plot to actually fulfill Margaret’s curse?

For the sake of literary plot, Shakespeare outlining his plot is actually to fulfill Margaret’s curse. Even though Queen Margaret plays a small role in this drama in which she appears for only two scenes but her curses are made up the whole plot. Most probably, Shakespeare wants to relay a moral value in his story that each wrong doing will receive a payback. It is the same thought that I have whereby when we are watching a movie or a play, we will hate the antagonist and hope for a punishment towards his/her evil attitude. I do wish that the antagonist will die or will suffer from their lives. Usually, we will find these punishments are in the form of death or he/she will suffer at the end of the story.

In the Richard III, I discovered that Margaret makes many curses to those people who have make her suffered. For examples, she curses Richard III that his friends are traitors and against him at the end. His curses to Richard III as the reasons he had murdered her husband Henry VI and her son Edward, Prince of Wales (Act I.iii. 119-120). Later, she curses Queen Elizabeth to live long and be not wife, mother or Queen as Margaret claimed that Queen Elizabeth had stolen her throne (Act I.iii.110). She also curses that Queen Elizabeth would ask for her help to curse Richard III (Act I.iii.249-250).Then, she curses Edward IV to die of sickness and Edward V to die young (Act I.iii.200). This is because Edward IV had taken over Henry VI throne. She also includes Rivers, Dorset and Hastings in her curses because all of them acting as bystanders watching her son killed by Richard III, hence she curses the three gentlemen to die an unnatural death (Act I.iii. 212 -214). Lastly, she curses Buckingham for the reason for insulting her when Buckingham deflects her advice to break with Richard. Her curses would be in which eventually Richard will betray Buckingham.

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In conclusion, Margaret curses are the important elements to build the story plot. Finally, all these curses come true. No even one of the people Margaret mentioned is escape from her curse. In the story, Margaret is fighting for justice from her big lost; husband and son, and the throne. Perhaps Shakespeare intentions is to serve the audiences with the situation from injustice to justice when the curses came from the ill-treat person. As though, I believe if a person is being ill-treat, eventually God will answer he/she prays. Thus, the bad will be punished and the good will be granted proper life.


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