Richard Iii

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Richard III: Using His Deformity as an Excuse to be Evil
“Richard’s deformed body is a mirror for self confessed ugliness in his soul.” This quote, by Marjorie Garber in Shakespeare’s Ghost Writers, explains exactly how Richard’s view of his hunchback was applied to his thoughts. The Tragedy of Richard III was the longest and most ambitious play Shakespeare ever wrote (Ackroyd 196). Throughout the play, he used his deformity as an excuse to be evil and pursued the throne even at the expense of his own family. The audience can tell from his actions that his abnormality affected his view of the world as well as the people in it. Shakespeare’s Richard suffered from a physical deformity, which he blamed for his evil motives and used as an excuse to gain sympathy from the audience and other characters. Richard’s psychological isolation was conveyed through his lack of conscience during his cruel and unjust murders. He felt no remorse for his vicious actions until Act V, Scene III when he exclaimed “Have mercy Jesus!” At this turning point, Richard finally started to feel scared as he realized he was alone with hardly anyone to take his side. Although his deformities were physical, he revealed that they made him resentful and unhappy. “Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace, have no delight to pass away the time, unless to see my shadow in the sun and descant on mine own deformity” (I.1.24-27). Therefore, he decided to make everyone else feel miserable like him. He believed his vice came from being a hunchback and so he convinced himself that this was the reason for his bitterness towards the world. However, in the later scenes, it is revealed that he is physically active and confident in his ability to seduce women. What, I that killed her husband and his father,

To take her in her heart’s extremest hate,
With curses in her mouth, tears in her eyes,
The bleeding witness of my hatred by,
Having God, her conscience, and these bars against me,
And I...
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