How can Richard expect to win Lady Anne's consent to marry him?


Richard III

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In Act I, scene ii, having previously killed both her spouse and her father, Richard III announces his intentions to become Lady Anne's husband. She curses him roundly, but is unable to act on Richard's offer to stab him at once, and by the scene's end, she is silent on the question of whether she can become Richard's queen. After she exits, Richard asks the tandem rhetorical questions: "Was ever woman in this humor woo'd/Was ever woman in this humor won?" (I, ii, pp.227-228). The answer is no, and the explanation for Richard's eventual triumph in his suit for Lady Anne's hand is that he is a super-human villain, a melodramatic character akin to Dracula. His very evil exerts a hypnotic effect on those around him; indeed, it is the sheer depth of his villainy that imparts an irresistible charisma to Richard.

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