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The She-Wolf of France

Regarding the Hollow Throne; some Ukipper moron has complained because Margaret of Anjou was played by a black actress.

Sophie Okonedo was excellent in the part. If we wanted to be true to Margaret's family's background she should have feathers growing out of her arse,seeing as legend claimed her ancestry from a swan. if we wanted to be true to Shakespeare, she'd be played by a bloke, but this is all well and good. Margaret of Anjou with a beak, fine,  with a penis, fine,with a black face, noooooo! Suspension of disbelief falls apart!Cats and dogs, living together! Chaos reigns! Some dick on facebook was talking about the production in terms of 'naturalism.' Naturalism? What people wandering around speaking in verse?
Here's her face.

.

Is she not a right and proper wolf? As Richard III is a play far more beloved than the Henry VI trilogy, old Margaret is better known than her young self; Here's old mellow Margaret:

Richard  III Act 1 scene 3
QUEEN MARGARET



What were you snarling all before I came,
Ready to catch each other by the throat,
And turn you all your hatred now on me?
Did York's dread curse prevail so much with heaven?
That Henry's death, my lovely Edward's death,
Their kingdom's loss, my woful banishment,
Could all but answer for that peevish brat?
Can curses pierce the clouds and enter heaven?
Why, then, give way, dull clouds, to my quick curses!
If not by war, by surfeit die your king,
As ours by murder, to make him a king!
Edward thy son, which now is Prince of Wales,
For Edward my son, which was Prince of Wales,
Die in his youth by like untimely violence!
Thyself a queen, for me that was a queen,
Outlive thy glory, like my wretched self!
Long mayst thou live to wail thy children's loss;
And see another, as I see thee now,
Deck'd in thy rights, as thou art stall'd in mine!
Long die thy happy days before thy death;
And, after many lengthen'd hours of grief,
Die neither mother, wife, nor England's queen!
Rivers and Dorset, you were standers by,
And so wast thou, Lord Hastings, when my son
Was stabb'd with bloody daggers: God, I pray him,
That none of you may live your natural age,
But by some unlook'd accident cut off!



GLOUCESTER
Have done thy charm, thou hateful wither'd hag!

QUEEN MARGARET



And leave out thee? stay, dog, for thou shalt hear me.
If heaven have any grievous plague in store
Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee,
O, let them keep it till thy sins be ripe,
And then hurl down their indignation
On thee, the troubler of the poor world's peace!
The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul!
Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou livest,
And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends!
No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine,
Unless it be whilst some tormenting dream
Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils!
Thou elvish-mark'd, abortive, rooting hog!
Thou that wast seal'd in thy nativity
The slave of nature and the son of hell!
Thou slander of thy mother's heavy womb!
Thou loathed issue of thy father's loins!
Thou rag of honour! thou detested--



GLOUCESTER



Margaret.



QUEEN MARGARET



Richard!



GLOUCESTER



Ha!



QUEEN MARGARET



I call thee not.



GLOUCESTER



I cry thee mercy then, for I had thought
That thou hadst call'd me all these bitter names.



QUEEN MARGARET



Why, so I did; but look'd for no reply.
O, let me make the period to my curse!



GLOUCESTER



'Tis done by me, and ends in 'Margaret.'



QUEEN ELIZABETH



Thus have you breathed your curse against yourself.



QUEEN MARGARET



Poor painted queen, vain flourish of my fortune!
Why strew'st thou sugar on that bottled spider,
Whose deadly web ensnareth thee about?
Fool, fool! thou whet'st a knife to kill thyself.
The time will come when thou shalt wish for me
To help thee curse that poisonous bunchback'd toad.

This is the She-Wolf grown old and toothless. She shrieks her imprecations at Heaven and all around her. She fears nothng but she can do nothing.*  There was a time she could do plenty. Here's young Margaret;

Henry VI part  III act 1 scene 4
QUEEN MARGARET



Brave warriors, Clifford and Northumberland,
Come, make him stand upon this molehill here,
That raught at mountains with outstretched arms,
Yet parted but the shadow with his hand.
What! was it you that would be England's king?
Was't you that revell'd in our parliament,
And made a preachment of your high descent?
Where are your mess of sons to back you now?
The wanton Edward, and the lusty George?
And where's that valiant crook-back prodigy,
Dicky your boy, that with his grumbling voice
Was wont to cheer his dad in mutinies?
Or, with the rest, where is your darling Rutland?[his son]
Look, York: I stain'd this napkin with the blood
That valiant Clifford, with his rapier's point,
Made issue from the bosom of the boy;
And if thine eyes can water for his death,
I give thee this to dry thy cheeks withal.
Alas poor York! but that I hate thee deadly,
I should lament thy miserable state.
I prithee, grieve, to make me merry, York.
What, hath thy fiery heart so parch'd thine entrails
That not a tear can fall for Rutland's death?
Why art thou patient, man? thou shouldst be mad;
And I, to make thee mad, do mock thee thus.
Stamp, rave, and fret, that I may sing and dance.
Thou wouldst be fee'd, I see, to make me sport:
York cannot speak, unless he wear a crown.
A crown for York! and, lords, bow low to him:
Hold you his hands, whilst I do set it on.

Putting a paper crown on his head

Ay, marry, sir, now looks he like a king!
Ay, this is he that took King Henry's chair,
And this is he was his adopted heir.
But how is it that great Plantagenet
Is crown'd so soon, and broke his solemn oath?
As I bethink me, you should not be king
Till our King Henry had shook hands with death.
And will you pale your head in Henry's glory,
And rob his temples of the diadem,
Now in his life, against your holy oath?
O, 'tis a fault too too unpardonable!
Off with the crown, and with the crown his head;
And, whilst we breathe, take time to do him dead.'

Lady MacBeth is terrible for her invocation of cruelty. She forces herself to do evil,she invites the dark spirits of murder and cruelty to possess her and remove all pity from her; Young Margaret of Anjou needs no such help, and would laugh at all that midnight hand-washing. She is a visceral bloodluster. Neither guilt nor kindness trouble her; you'd fare better in the hands of the Scottish lady until you slept.

For the purpose of the drama, Anjou can be no swan. She must be fierce, ambitious, clever but  not subtle, a queen of swords sharp in word and sharper in deed,  most alive in battle, very brave and very cruel. Okonedo portrayed, not a swan's grand-daughter but a boiling feral soul.

And some idiot wants to talk about  her complexion?





* Having said that, all her curses come to pass.

**Speaking of idiots,I can't make this formatting work at all. Ah well. And somehow 'Chaos reigns,' became 'Chaos rains'. Perhaps it does. God, I'm tired.


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