In the play, King Richard III by Sir William Shakespeare, the protagonist Richard, Duke of Gloucester is a man of many skills. However, good looks are not one of them. His high position of power in the royal family as a duke, as well as the brother of King Edward supplements for his lack of grace. Richard’s acting skills, combined with his finely tuned persuasive abilities are his greatest gifts. Richard III has many characteristics that would make a strong hero, but he uses these strengths along with his position in the royal family to manipulate and undermine those around him to get what he wants, thus resulting in him being a satanic hero. Throughout this historic play, Richard’s role in the royal family changes from brother of the king, to Lord Protector of the future king, and finally the King of England. He used each of these roles to his benefit, turning characters against one another and getting rid of those who stood in his way. First he convinced King Edward to order the execution of Clarence.
And if Kind Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle, false and treacherous,
This day should be Clarence closely mewed up
About a prophecy which says that ‘G’
Of Edward’s heirs the murderer shall be. (1.1.36-40)
Richard talks to each of his brothers as if he were on their side, helping them. Richard told Clarence he would do whatever it takes to free him from the tower, when in fact he lied to them both, scarring their brotherhood with his deceit. Next, as the last remaining son of Richard II, he uses threats and the fear they create to turn everyone against Hastings. “...Thou art a traitor/off with his head/ . . . /The rest that love me, rise and follow me” (3.4.75-78). This illustrates how Richard forces obedience and love onto the other dukes and noblemen with the choice of following him and leaving Hastings, or being killed. Finally, after the death of King Edward, Richard becomes Lord...