The Evil of Richard the Third

analytical Essay
956 words
956 words

The Evil of Richard III

Shakespeare Richard III was a traitor, a murderer, a tyrant, and a hypocrite. The leading characteristics of his mind are scorn, sarcasm, and an overwhelming contempt. It appears that the contempt for his victims rather than active hatred or cruelty was the motive for murdering them. Upon meeting him he sounds the keynote to his whole character. " I, that am curtailed of this proportion, cheated of feature by dissembling nature, Deform'd, unfinish'd sent before my time Into this word scarce half made up"( 1.1.20-23)
The first scene of the play begins with a soliloquy, which emphasizes Richard's physical isolation as he appears alone as he speaks to is audience. The idea of physical isolation is heightened by his references to his deformity such as "rudely stamped ....Cheated of feature by dissembling Nature, deformed unfinished". "( 1.1.21-22). This deformity would be an outward indication to his audience of the disharmony from Nature and viciousness of his spirit. As he hated "the idle pleasure of these days" and speaks of his plots to sent one brother against another, Richard seems socially apart from the figures around him, and perhaps regarded as an outsider or ostracized because of his deformity. His separation his family is emphasized when he says "Dive, thoughts down to my soul"(1.1.41) when he sees his brother approaching. He is unable to share his thought with his own family as he is plotting against them. Thus, we are given hints of his physical, social and spiritual isolation which is developed throughout the play. But despite these hints, he still refers to himself as part of the House of York, shown in the repeated use of "Our"
The task which Shakespeare undertook was to mold the hateful constitution of Richard's Moral; character. Richard had to contend with the prejudices arising from his bodily deformity which was considered an indication of the depravity and wickedness of his nature. Richard's ambitious nature, his elastic intellect, and his want of faith in goodness conspire to produce his tendency to despise and degrade every surrounding being and object, even as his own person. He is never sincere except when he is about to commit a murder.
"therefore, since I can not prove a lover, To entertain these fair well spoken days, I am determined to be a villain".As a villain Richard must be heartless, he can not let his emotions interfere with his actions.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how richard iii was a traitor, murderer, tyrant, and hypocrite. his contempt for his victims was the motive for murdering them.
  • Analyzes how richard's physical isolation is heightened by his references to his deformity, which indicates the disharmony from nature and viciousness of his spirit.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare molds richard's moral character into a hateful constitution. his ambitious nature, his elastic intellect, and his want of faith in goodness conspire to produce his tendency to despise and degrade every surrounding being.
  • Explains how richard devised a brutal stratagem to ascend the english throne.
  • Analyzes how richard sets his plan to ascend to the throne into action by locking up his brother george, duke of clarence, in the tower.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare harps throughout the play on richard's prenatal existence and the circumstances of his early years to create the impression that richard is intrinsically evil.
  • Analyzes how richard is a scourge who has been cursed from conception. his hypocrisy is one of the most prominent and shocking vices in richard.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare portrayed the dominating sins in the play as perjury and murder-sins against the moral order.
  • Analyzes how richard succeeded as a villain and had the perfect scapegoat, the duke of buckingham, who was hard-working, honest and loyal to the end.
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