Richard III

Topics: Edward IV of England, Elizabeth of York, Elizabeth Woodville Pages: 3 (923 words) Published: May 4, 2014

In Shakespeare’s play “Richard III,” the character Richard is crafted as a representation of of the id, ego, and superego of psychology. The concept of the id demands immediate satisfaction, an impulsive component of human qualities. The ego is concerned with devising a realistic strategy to obtain pleasure, which tries to avoid consequences and seek social acceptance. On the other hand, the superego is based on moral values, where the individual is aware of their rights and wrongs. Throughout Richard’s conquest for the throne, Richard displays qualities of the id, ego, and superego.

The id starts in the beginning of the play. The id is displayed by Richard’s desire to claim the throne. He has an impulsive desire to get rid of the individuals that threaten his opportunity to the crown. An example would be Hasting’s execution, the massacre of Elizabeth’s family, and the replacement of Lady Anne. Through Richard’s plot to reign, Richard discovers Hastings’ favor of the young princes who, in fact, threaten Richard’s hunger for kingship. With Richard’s realization of Hastings’ position, Richard impulsively says, “Thou art a traitor.—off with his head” (3.4.76-77). The id is shown here because of the demand of immediate satisfaction. Richard’s need for instant gratification is also shown through a messenger's news to Elizabeth. The messenger says, “Lord Rivers and Lord Grey are sent to Pomfret...[as] prisoners” (2.4.46-47). Elizabeth’s brothers are later executed by Richard’s command. Richard will generate on instinct and detach empathy for the living relatives of his victims. Not only that, the young princes, who are also a threat, become his instinctive victims. Richard says “Dar’st thou resolve to kill a friend of mine...two deep enemies, foes to my rest, and my sweet sleep’s disturbers” (4.2.73-75). To purge the competition, Richard desperately seeks a way to plot their death, which also reveals the pleasure that the id seeks to obtain. Lastly, Richard’s id...
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