“I Can No Longer Hold Me Patient!”: Margaret, Anger, and Political Voice in Richard III

  • Bella Mirabella
Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)


“‘I can no longer hold me patient:’ Margaret, Anger, and Political Voice in Richard III.

Although some scholars have neglected Queen Margaret’s role in Richard III, and while theater and film productions often leave her out or depict her as a ranting hag, this chapter argues that Margaret is a crucial figure in the play, who signals the demise of Richard and unravels his narrative through her anger. While angry women are often ignored or condemned as morally inferior in the early modern period, Shakespeare neither ignores Queen Margaret nor condemns her. This chapter reexamines Margaret’s role in the play through the lens of her anger and argues that Shakespeare granted Margaret her moment when the configuration of patience and anger coalesce to give the queen her power and political voice in Richard III.

The role of women in Shakespeare’s history plays has been the focus of significant scholarly analysis. Some scholars have argued that the women are subordinate, insignificant cogs in the masculine machines of government and war, while others have granted that in Richard III, for example, Margaret, Anne, Elizabeth, and the Duchess do at least establish a community of women and do, indeed, have agency—as evidenced through their cursing. This chapter focuses on the power and significance of Queen Margaret’s role in Richard III with regard to her anger, which I propose is the engine that drives her appearance.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bella Mirabella
    • 1
  1. 1.Gallatin SchoolNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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