Richard, the main character of the Shakespeare’s play, Richard III is portrayed as socially destructive and politically over-ambitious. His destructive potential is depicted by the way he relates with the other protagonists in the play and also by what he confesses as his intentions.
Richard’s political ambition is revealed through his strategic calculations based on the order of birth in his York family which puts him third away from the throne. Ahead of him is his elder brother, George Clarence, a barrier which will have to eradicate. His brother, King Edward, is another political barrier, by simply being alive, in power and equally by being the father of the two young princes . Richard’s creates a political mistrust between his two brothers without directly implicating himself to clear his way to power.
The main objective of this essay is to show how well Richard fits the figure of vice character in the Shakespeare’s play. We are going to examine this aspect of Richard from two dimensions. First of all, through his expressed intentions, motivations and deeds. Secondly, through what other characters accuse him of and their attitudes towards him. It will not be possible for us to revisit each character and how he or she relates with Richard. However, Anne, Margaret, the Duchess of York, citizens, the ghosts and finally Richmond will be examined.
Richard, the villain
From the beginning of the play, the character of Richard is depicted as amiss. Thomas More’s account of King Richard states that King Richard“was malicious, wrathful, envious, and, from afore his birth ever forward” (More, 2005:10).King Richard’s mother, the Duchesse of York is said to have had a hard labour at his birth. Richard is said to have come into the world with the feet forward and toothed (See More 2005:10).
Shakespeare’s Richard oscillates between the Senecan villain swept by passion on one hand, and the traditional Vice, the stock villain of the morality plays (See Robert B.Pierce, 1971:90). “Whereas the senecan tyrant rages against virtue in the name of ambition, or lust, R.B.Pierce argues that Richard, ‘like the formal vice, Iniquity’ (III.i.82), thrives by an ironic detachment from all the standards of traditional morality including the claims of the family” (Robert.B.Pierce, 1971:90-91) Shakespeare in his play, Richard III, added a physical deformity to incite people to see his plays. A both deformed and mobile character was found to be a scary monster.
To begin with, he invites the audience to his unhappy life despite the fact that the no one pays attention to him because others neither find him handsome nor sexually appealing.
Richard is not eye-catching due to physical deformity which he vividly describes as the cause of his misfit, and therefore acquires himself the status of a victim. No one pays attention to him because others neither find him handsome nor sexually appealing. But he magnetizes the audience, makes them complicit of his own deeds and dares...