I applaud Queen Margaret for her witty, nasty comments towards Richard. He honestly deserves whatever may come his way for what he has done. It is clear the Queen Margaret has EVERY reason to be this shrewd woman who just insults everyone after all, both her husband and son have been killed. Margaret says, “Out, devil! I remember them too well./ Thou killed’st my husband Henry in the Tower,/ And Edward, my poor son, at Tewkesbury” (I.III.118-120) while referring to Richard of Gloucester before she reveals herself to other characters. During the initial asides, at first I was really aggravated by Margaret mainly because she keeps saying she deserves the thrown, and she is angered by everyone who has increased their royalty levels. I feel like she is that haggard old woman who is miserable with her life. I don’t mean to sound bitter about this, I know how painful it is to lose someone close in your family, but she was just extremely bitter, not even really saddened by the death of her family members. These asides do enlighten me as a reader as to the inner workings of Margaret’s mind. On top of this, I also believe the Margaret is the character who represents some aspect of the truth. We can see this all because she isn’t afraid to speak out to anyone. She has the gift of knowledge because she knows what is actually going on. She believes that Richard should go to Hell or at least that is where she will, she calls him a “villain” as well implying a “well-born peasant” but I think it also has a double meaning that he is the evil person of the play (I.III.162).
There are some very crude comments from Margaret as she insults Richard and even Queen Elizabeth. I assume this scene is supposed to be taken seriously for all characters when Margaret calls them “wrangling pirates” (I.III. 158) or call Richard a “dog” or “elvish-marked, abortive, rooting hog” (I.III.225) I can’t help but laugh. As I read these words, although she is an angry bitter woman, these words are just seething with hatred towards the other characters. I think Margaret is the character who really heightens the drama in the scene and I have a feeling that things are going to become very intense when it comes to the controversy of who should really be queen.
One thing that I was also interested in was when they called Queen Margaret crazy, like Dorset who says “Dispute not with her: she is lunatic” (I.III.252) immediately calling out her on the remarks she has said. I do not see her being crazy in any way, even River’s questions, “why she’s at liberty” which is basically saying why is Margaret free and not locked up within the walls of a confined cell. After she leaves, Richard steps in and wins the crowd over and apologizes for what he has done to her and basically says he has been the cause of some of her madness and people think he is “Christian-like” for his comment (I.III.214). This final point simply outraged me while I was reading. There is no way that someone could consider Margaret to be crazy after losing her son and husband and ability to be in power. Richard makes me angry and I already see how sneaky he is and how much power he has over everyone else with his smooth talking. Did Richard’s “apology” anger anyone else, and does anyone think Margaret is really crazy? I certainly don’t think she is crazy. I believe she just is struggling with many different issues in her life at this time and doesn’t have an outlet for her pain and anger.