Richard Iii Summary

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Shakespeare: Richard III
Shakespeare successfully portrays (his purpose in relation to the values and expectations of the Elizabethan context) through stage play techniques such as, use of soliloquy, dramatic irony, and humour. He also uses language techniques such as visual imagery and sound imagery throughout his play to explore the villainous role and character of Richard which leads to the development of the key themes in his play, Richard III. The first soliloquy informs the audience of Richard’s inner thoughts while also establishing his character, dark motives, and his intention in the play. The opening statement, “Now is the winter of our discontent”, refers to Richard’s unhappiness as a result of the war ending and the peace that replaces the feeling of villainy. This immediately informs the audience of Richard’s dark personality and the villainy within him. His villainy and evilness is reinforced in “Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings, Our dreadful marches to delightful measures”, emphasizing that he does not want peace or to share happy times, but instead thrives on chaos and violence. We also learn of Richard’s feelings towards his appearance in his first soliloquy, the adjectives used by Shakespeare describe Richard’s physical defects, “Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time”. This statement reveals his sense of self unattractiveness which is reinforced in “That dogs bark at me as I halt by them, showing that his appearance has the ability to even scare animals. His evil and manipulative behaviour is shown again when he plans to set his brothers Clarence and King Edward against each other. This informs the audience of his high level of self importance and that he will always put himself ahead of his family to receive the crown, this is also proven as he is planning to take the lives of Edwards heirs in sacrifice for the crown to himself.
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