Character Analysis Lady Anne


The widow of Edward, Prince of Wales, son of Henry VI, became the wretched wife of Richard of Gloucester. Prior to her appearance in Act I, Scene 2, it was from Richard himself that we learned of his villainy. Anne's first function, then, is to provide chapter and verse for Richard's villainy by excoriating him as the heartless murderer of her husband and her father. Yet she is rather easily swayed by Richard's blandishments and agrees to marry him. In a sense, she willfully embraces evil when she accepts Richard as her husband — the man she had just denounced as a "foul devil," "a dreadful minister of Hell." It is not Queen Margaret who is called upon to bring down curses on Anne's head; she does so for herself. And each curse is realized: She does not find rest as Richard's wife, and she does not survive long as Richard's queen. Thus, in a way, she expiates her own initial sin.

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