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Richard III Gender Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Norton edition.

Quote #4

Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost
To hear the lamentations of poor Anne,
Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughtered son,
Stabb'd by the self-same hand that made these wounds.
Lo, in these windows that let forth thy life
I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes. (1.2.1)

The first woman we encounter in the play is a lamenting and sorrowful mourner. It seems women will often play the role of mourners in Richard III, left behind to grieve over their lost men and the evil of other men.

Quote #5

O wonderful, when devils tell the truth!
More wonderful when angels are so angry. (1.2.22)

Richard dismisses Anne's anger here, basically saying, "you sure are cute when you're mad."  This is an age-old old trick to disempower women.  We see something similar happen over and over again in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew.

Quote #6

I would I knew thy heart.
'Tis figur'd in my tongue.
I fear me both are false.
Then never was man true. (1.2.50)

Anne collapses at this point.  She already knows what's in Richard's "heart" (she's just provided a laundry list of his evil deeds), but here she acts like it's possible he really loves her.

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