Shakespeare’s Presentation of Richard Lll as a Villainous and Destructive Force?

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  • Topic: Devil, Audience theory, Audience
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  • Published : March 18, 2011
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SHAKESPEARE’S PRESENTATION OF RICHARD lll AS A VILLAINOUS AND DESTRUCTIVE FORCE? Richard also known as the Duke of Gloucester, and eventually King Richard III. Deformed in body and twisted in mind, Richard is both the central character and the villain of the play. He is evil, corrupt, sadistic, and manipulative, and he will stop at nothing to become king. His intelligence, political brilliance, and dazzling use of language keep the audience fascinated, and his subjects and rivals under his thumb. ‘I am determined to prove a villain’. The use of soliloquy appears often in the novel. This, being the only way Shakespeare can communicate with the audience, is vital in telling the story. Shakespeare presents Richard as intentionally villainous by telling us his every thought and plans for destruction. “ Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous, by drunken prophecies, libels and dreams, to set my brother Clarence and the king in deadly hate”, To the audience Richards villainous nature is clear but is hidden from the characters. This has the effect of making us part of his schemes. It begins by him ordering Hastings to leave; we see his power, “go you before…” even though they are both Dukes and theoretically of the same rank, Richard is in control. The language throughout this soliloquy is quite subtle and conceited: “till George be packed with post-horse up to heaven.” This allows us to see Richard’s intelligence and complicated nature of his speech, and his well thought out plan. “What though I killed her husband and her father?” the use of rhetorical question shows he is proud of himself, and excited that after years of planning his plots are coming to fruition. In my eyes Richard appears awkward yet gentle and acts this way in front of the characters, for example he persuades lady Anne to marry him even after he killed her husband. Richard has many motifs for destruction. He wants to gain the throne and to do this he has to kill all those in his way. To not...
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