Shakespeare's Richard III is set in England after the War of the
Roses. Richard, the megalomanic eponymous character, is desperate for
the throne of England. He tells us that he seeks the crown to
compensate for his deformity (he was a hunchback from birth). Richard
has his own brother killed and later has former allies and those who
still stood in his way killed also. When Richard eventually gains the
throne he finds his conscience and begins to feel insecure, he has the
two Princes he has locked away killed. Nobles are horrified by his
actions and establish a rebel force lead by Richmond. During the
Battle of Bosworth FieldRichard is defeated and killed in hand to hand
combat with Richmond, who then takes the throne and becomes King of
The word 'political' can have more than one meaning. The Oxford
English Dictionary has a few definitions of political and politician:
1. Of, relating to, or dealing with the structure or affairs of
government, politics, or the state.
2. Relating to, involving, or characteristic of politics or
3. Interested or active in politics.
4. Having or influenced by partisan interests: The court should never
become a political institution.
5. Based on or motivated by partisan or self-serving objectives: a
purely political decision.
1. One who is actively involved in politics, especially party
2. One who seeks personal or partisan gain, often by scheming and by
Richard has shown several of these characteristics and so can be
described as a political character....
... middle of paper ...
...d, therefore, that Richard was not a
success as he was killed although he failed militarily rather than
politically and had succeeded up to that point. As Richard failed as a
soldier, he could still be called a successful politician.
Political could also mean artful, ingenious, unscrupulous and cunning
all of which can be applied to Richard at some point during the play.
Richard is sly and gets away with treason, a crime punishable with
death, he manages to put the blame on other people and avoid
punishment himself. This could be considered successful, as he was
Going back to the criteria for a politician it can be said that
Richard is definitely a politician "one who seeks personal or partisan
gain, often by scheming and by manoeuvring" but it is difficult to say
whether he was successful or not.
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