Analysis Paper #2
Richard the Third
Analyze the use of Christian allusions
“Two drops of virtue for a Christian prince…”
A prince of what exactly? That is a line said of Richard as he enters in Act 3 Scene 7. It was of course as Richard was standing in between two bishops pretending to be pious. He is more like a Christian prince of darkness, and he refers to himself as devil to state his mind. It can be said of Christian allusions in this text that Richard plays the part of the devil, the son, who fell from God’s grace and presence. He spends all of his time using others for his own gain and corrupting mankind. Queen Margaret has it right when she called him “Hell’s black intelligencer.” And he lives up to that title, more so that he ever lived up to the title of king.
In his opening speech Richard is "determined to prove a villain." Richard seems to be announcing that he has made a decision and is committed to being bad. That may be true but there is another way to look at it. Richard could also be seen as being predetermined to be a villain. At that time, Christian people believed that God determines everything that's going to happen to a person and whether he or she will be saved from damnation. This idea was important in context of Shakespeare's England. Richard's use of the word "determined" is interesting because it implies two different possible meanings at once. First, Richard has decided of his own free will to be a villain or, second God has predetermined that Richard is going to be a villain and Richard has no control over the outcome. How we read this will determine on how we think about Richard and if he is a villain and evil by choice or if he has no control over the lengths he will go to get what he wants. We can then see how Richmond can be seen as the savior of this play. He is the only one that can defeat the evil Richard and take his rightful place on the throne and begin to right all of...