Much Ado and Richard Iii

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Much Ado About Nothing & RIII

Mcuh Ado About Nothing and RIII, written by William Shakespeare, have characters that greatly impact the story and the destruction in the plays. In Much Ado About Nothing we have Don John; a bastard child whom finds pleasure in plotting against others and finding any way to manipulate others into believing events that have not actually occurred. Don John operates as a plot-device as opposed to an actual character. He gives us a little speech about how he is a bad guy and enjoys being a bad guy, but there is not much that we can say about him because we never really know his motivations, or even his reaction to all of the chaos he has caused. In the end, he ran off before he can even be punished or have a warm, fuzzy change of heart scene. He is definitely not Shakespeare’s most compelling and complex villain. Although, it is not a failing of Shakespeare’s that this villain is so bland. It is actually a reminder to the reader that the play is not supposed to be a tragedy, and is not even supposed to really analyze evil at all. The more important take-home points of the play are about mirth and the folly of misunderstanding. In RIII, we find Richard; a conniving, evil, and manipulative trickster who causes all of the trouble in the play.

In RIII, Richard is plotting against everyone in order to gain control of the thrown. The first glimpse of his conniving personality is from the very first scene in act one. “To set my brother Clarence and the King In deadly hate the one against the other” (I.i.34-35). This portion of Richard’s opening speech specifically details part of his plan to take the title as King. In this quote it is evident that Richard is going to instill death upon others in order to take what he wants. This opening speech details important aspects of who he is. He explains that he cannot be happy. The reason for his unhappiness though is only because he believes that a woman would not want any sexual relations with him due to his appearance. Therefore he decides that everyone else should be miserable too. “And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover to entertain these fair well-spoken days, I am determined to prove a villain and hate the idle pleasures of these days” (I.i.27-31). When first reading this, I was thrown off and had to reanalyze what exactly is the cause for his determination to become a villain. It became clear to me when I went back a couple of lines and received a clear vision of Richard. “I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion, cheated of feature by dissembling nature, deformed, unfinished, sent before my time into this breathing world scarce half made up and that so lamely and unfashionable that dogs bark at me as I halt by them” (I.i.18-23). These lines depict the picture that Richard is not exactly a picture that wants to be hung on the wall to display to all. This quote is important because it give the reader an insight to why Richard is the way he is. A reader can easily determine that because he cannot find happiness in the beauty of the world around him, which he must destroy all happiness that has come from this beauty. It is possible that this is his way of grieving about his outward appearance. These quotes lead me to believe that Richard merely wants everyone to understand how he feels. Although, when I began to become empathetic towards Richard, he would kill someone and makes things continually worse for everyone around him. He proved himself as an evil villain, and he did it well as the play goes on.

Although Shakespeare implies Richard to be simple and straightforward, that is not what I had in mind when I read the play. The real reasons for his evil are unknown. In the lines provided from the beginning speech, he appears bitter and upset about his deformities, but later he seems to use them as an excuse for sympathy and wins over the hearts of the woman who know the deaths that he has caused. I find it odd...
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