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Shakespeare Quotes: Dash to pieces

Shakespeare Quotes: Dash to pieces


Richard III

Dash to pieces Introduction

I'm Margaret. I like roaming around the castle muttering curses at people. But I'm no fool. I'm assertive, vindictive, and self-assured. And you know what I think?

Peace, master marquess, you are malapert:
Your fire-new stamp of honour is scarce current.
O, that your young nobility could judge
What 'twere to lose it, and be miserable!
They that stand high have many blasts to shake them;
And if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces. (1.3.254-259)

Who Said It and Where

The former Queen Margaret, the widow of King Henry VI (who was recently killed by Richard III), has no problem calling it like she sees it. Her favorite hobbies include skulking around the castle like an angry ninja and cursing anyone nearby for the terrible things that have happened to her family. Preferably both at the same time.

In this scene, she's muttering under her breath, bitterly lamenting what she sees as Elizabeth's theft of her crown, not to mention Richard's murder of her husband and son, Edward Prince of Wales. The new Queen Elizabeth (the wife of the current King Edward IV) is wringing her hands because her husband is at death's door. Like any devoted wife, Elizabeth wants to know what's going to happen to her if her husband dies.

Margaret is observing this and mocks the new royal family. They don't hold a candle to her. Plus, she predicts a bunch of nasty stuff will happen to them. It's the battle of the queens. Margaret and Elizabeth duke it out, verbal style.

There's a lot of name-calling and insult throwing, and Margaret throws a punch with this one. She tells Elizabeth (and the rest of the nearby royals) that people who stand too tall often fall down. And when they do, it ain't pretty.

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