Richard III by William Shakespeare: Essay Assignment
Richard III by William Shakespeare: Essay Assignment

Richard III by William Shakespeare: Essay Assignment

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  • Pages: 5 (1259 words)
  • Published: November 25, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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The philosophy of Richard's life was to pursue the art of evil, for his own pleasures and advantages. His rejection from society due to his physical deformity causes Richard to practice villainy and devastate the general public. Due to the fact he cannot appreciate the simple pleasures of life, he is determined to place himself above all others and implant a greater impression on the citizens' minds. Despite the fact that Shakespeare portrays Richard as a vile and cunning villain, he has some commendable qualities.

Richard's wicked character is masked by his emotional monologues, ambition to accomplish his goals, and remarkable power of persuasion to seduce those who become a necessity with his enhanced wordplay. The aura he creates about his apparent "good-natured" personality with those personas makes readers almost forget about his hateful miss


ion and admire how Richard goes about on his way. The paradox supports the "appearance vs. reality" theme that dominates the play, and confuses the audience whether Richard III is the villain or hero."I am determined to prove a villain"(Act I, Sc. I, line 30) presents the fundamental line of the plot that summarizes the universal idea of Richard's conquest to the audience.

His sheer determination to make humanity suffer for all their repulsive actions towards him creates one of the many illusions Richard generates to magnetize the empathy from the audience. Richard uses his past experiences of being shunned from public to create a sense of remorse from the audience, almost pleading for their attention. His physical features also played a crucial role in his mind set and approach to life after the War of the Roses. Unlike other soldiers who courted

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women with ease, Richard's distorted figure was a repellent for women."He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,To the lascivious pleasing of a luteBut I, that am not shap'd for sportive tricks,Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majestyTo strut before a wanton ambling nymph" (Act I, Sc. I, lines 12-17)In his engaging soliloquies, Richard proclaims that he cannot enjoy the simplest things in life, to love and cherish, because of his deformation. He is revolted and dismayed in realization that he is a hideous beast. Richard's grievances give the audience reason to show compassion due to his misfortune."Cheated of feature by dissembling Nature,Deform'd, unfinish'd, sent before my timeInto this breathing world scarce half made up-And that so lamely and unfashionable That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them-" (Act I, Sc.I, lines 19-23)Richard hints that his premature birth (Deform'd, unfinish'd sent before my time) burdened him with his unattractive features. His rage revolves around how Nature has ruined him and seeps more audience condolences because he is "cursed" with deformities from birth and ordained his evil lifestyle.

His physical features seem to have caused his mind to pursue a villainous course as well.Without ambition to motivate Richard to accomplish his goals, they would surely have not gone according to plan. As the play progresses, the extent of Richard's evil ways becomes more identifiable as the fog begins to clear. His ambition was a result of his twisted and sadistic mind, hungry for power and control. Richard challenged himself to the task of overthrowing all the rightful heirs to the throne, in order for him to secure the

throne for himself.

Also, he is ambitious in the sense that it blinded him from the importance of humanity. In order for Richard to become King, he had the obstacle of his own family. His resent for the happiness around him caused him to become more malicious as he slowly attained his "dream". Richard must execute Clarence after his ailing brother King Edward dies; hence he will become the Lord Protector for the Kings' children. Therefore, nobody could accuse him for both murders." Well your imprisonment shall not be long:I will deliver you, or else lie for you.

Meantime, have patience." (Act I, Sc.I, lines 114-116)Richard comforts Clarence that his stay in the Tower of London will not be long. Clarence believes his brother will to do anything in his power to get him out.

However, Richard could be "delivering him to his death". As the plans fall into place, Richard's confidence and ambition blossom, leaving the audience to wonder what can conceivably end his reign.Richard's most essential weapon in his arsenal is his dexterity with language. To many, it may not appear to be an instrument of necessity, but for Richard, it seems to be his only defence. Words are his stepping-stones that permit him to manipulate and control everyone around him.

When this does not work, he effortlessly uses violence to finish business. The audience clearly witnesses the technique that Richard uses at every crucial point in his quest, how his cunning words strangle the adversary with ease.One cannot resist applauding the pure stroke of genius of his actions, knowing the repulsiveness of the purpose. The list that Richard has of clearing the path to the throne

is vast, yet he sets about it with grace. This includes having Clarence sent to jail and blaming the King for his death, keeping the Woodsville's of his trail, achieving Hastings' execution, and primarily the courting of Anne. The manner in which Richard approaches the task of wooing Anne is remarkable.

He confesses to murdering her husband, Henry, during the burial, quickly adding that it was she who caused him to carry forth with the killing."O gentlemen! See, see dead Henry's woundsOpen their congeal'd mouths and bleed afresh.Blush, blush, thou lump of foul deformity,For 'tis thy presence that exhales this bloodFrom cold and empty veins where no blood dwells" (Act I, Sc. II, lines 55-59)Anne continuously lashes blow after blow upon Richard, stating he has neither pity nor belief in God. On the other hand, Richard gradually makes his move, ultimately concluding the battle of wits, in which he confessed that he killed for Anne's beauty, and courted her gently."My manly eyes did scorn a humble tear;And what these sorrows could not thence exhale,Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping.

I never sued to friend nor enemy:My tongue could never learn sweet smoothing word;But now thy beauty is propos'd my fee,My proud heat sues, and prompts my tongue to speak." (Act II, Sc. II, lines 168-174)"Nay, do not pause, for I did kill King Henry--But 'twas thy beauty that provoked me.Nay, now dispatch: 'twas I that stabb'd youngEdward-But 'twas thy heavenly face that set me on.

" (Act II, Sc. II, lines 183-187)Richard had successfully courted Anne and would strengthen his claim to the throne with their marriage. The audience cannot resist the temptation to appreciate

Richard's manipulation techniques, for they know the truth behind his intentions.Richard's portrayal is the ideal depiction of a cunning and despicable villain; conversely, the amount of sympathy and pity received from the audience is well deserved.

His astounding monologues, blinding ambition, and most predominantly the manipulation and control with his skill of words are a force to be reckoned with. These aspects allowed Richard to achieve his goals deserve the praise and respect given by the audience. Richard is indeed an atrocious villain, but he does possess some venerable qualities that are used with skill.

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