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The Character Of King Richard Iii In William Shakespeare's Play

1064 words - 4 pages

The Character of King Richard III in William Shakespeare's Play

In my opinion Richard is definitely not a hero, he is nothing more
than an immoral villain. He is a cunning, callous and carefree
murderer. However, for much of the play the audience view him as a
hero. Throughout my essay I aim to argue why Richard is an immoral
villain whilst contrasting why many may perceive him as a hero.

For much of the play Richard may be seen as a hero. One reason for
this is his dramatic language. Shakespeare’s use of long, fascinating
monologues in which Richard outlines his evil plans and thoughts are
central to the audiences experiences and impressions of Richard. Thus,
enabling his manipulative character to charm the audience. In (1, 1,
125-127) Richard speaks to the audience about his time at war. ‘Our
bruised arms hung up for monuments’ (1, 1, 125) he creates an image
that they have hung their armour up victoriously. This would therefore
suggest that he his heroic as he has led his side to victory. When
saying ‘I, that am rudely stamp’d and want love’s majesty’ (1, 1, 126)
Richard gains sympathy from the audience as he is saying that he was
badly made and doesn’t have the looks to gain love from a woman,
unlike others who can enjoy ‘sportive tricks‘(1, 1, 14). The audiences
sympathy for Richard is also enhanced when he mentions’ that so lamely
and unfashionable that dogs bark at me’(1, 1, 23). The way in which he
talks about his victories and uses the pronoun ‘our’ before ‘I’ pushes
the audience to look upon him as a hero, as we are learning that he
has fought amongst others to gain victory for his country, before then
learning about his faults. For example that he is so hideously
disfigured that dogs bark at him.

Shakespeare cleverly uses soliloquy within the opening of the play to
reveal Richards evil plans to the audience without revealing them to
the other characters. For example, ‘I am determined to prove a
villain’ and ‘About a prophecy which says that ”G” of Edward’s heirs
the murderer shall be. Dive, thoughts, down to my soul. Here Clarence
comes.’ the audience will still view him as a hero, because of the way
he hides his cunning and deceitful plans from others. By doing so we
could question whether Shakespeare is genuine, as he is wrongfully
leads us to like Richard, therefore allowing Richard to undeservedly
become our hero for most of the play. The fact that Shakespeare
doesn’t introduce the other characters also aids in him becoming the
hero. Moreover, because we are unaware of the other characters...

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