Looking for Richard Analysis

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Through the use of stage play, William Shakespeare achieves his purpose of dramatic play in relation to the values and expectations of the Elizabethian context. Richard, Duke of Gloucester and later Richard III, is King Edward IV’s youngest brother. He lies, manipulates and murders his way to the English throne. He is smart, suave, politically savvy and has a sick sense of humour. Richard suggests that the body mirrors what is in his mind; his body is distorted, “cheated of feature by dissembling nature”, so his character is too. His characterisation o himself as “sublte, false and treacherous” proves accurate as he winds his way to the throne. Only at the plays end does his conscience flicker when he is troubled by the ghosts of his victims: “O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!” He soon talks himself out of this to assert “Conscience is but a word that cowards use,/Devised at first to keep the strong in awe”. Although Richard suppresses his conscience, he does posses the virtues of strength and courage. Shakespeare uses soliloquys throughout the play to address what characters are saying that is going on and also gives much insight into what the character is like and the plans they have made, as Richard says in the opening soliloquy “Plots have I laid, inductions, dangerous, by drunken/ prophecies, libels, and dreams/ to set my brother Clarence and the king/ In deadly hate the one against the other.”. Soliloquys also add information into previous happenings by making reference to the War of the Roses “winter of our discontent…and all the clouds that loured upon our house.” Shakepeare uses imagery where characters refer to Richard as the ‘boar’, Queen Margaret being one with ”elvish-mark'd, abortive, rooting hog” which sets up the image of Richard’s ugly deformity. Richard is a manipulative character making manipulation a crucial theme. He is constantly manipulating characters around him in an acrobatic performance of subtlety and wordplay, this is...
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