The Effectiveness of William Shakespeare's Use of Supernatural in the Final Act of Richard III

The Effectiveness of William Shakespeare's Use of Supernatural in the Final Act of Richard III

Length: 935 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Effectiveness of William Shakespeare's Use of Supernatural in the Final Act of Richard III


Richard III was written by William Shakespeare and tells the story of
how Richard III wants to become king and does everything in his power
to get there by assassinating members of his family to do so, for
example, the Duke of Clarence, Lord Hastings, Lady Anne, Lord Rivers,
the Duke of Buckingham, Henry VI, Prince Edward, Prince Edward V and
Prince Richard. The last Act contains many supernatural elements such
as ghosts of the people Richard III has murdered or got killed and
curses, for example, Buckingham remembering Margaret's curse,
prophecies and dreams, a message from the supernatural from the
future. Shakespeare may have used these supernatural events to
entertain his audience who would have believed in ghosts and that the
ghosts of the murdered family members have come to curse Richard.

The differences between Shakespeare's audience and today's audiences
are that Shakespeare's audience believed in the supernatural much
more. Ghosts, curses, prophecies and dreams were believed in when they
told something about the future and what it meant which were taken
literally. Today's audience don't believe in ghosts, curses and
prophecies as much. The audience interpret the supernatural things as
a representation and we may see it as an illustration of what's going
on in Richard's head. Shakespeare's audiences would have seen the
supernatural as evil spirits to curse Richard and to make him feel
guilty for what he has done to his family. However, the paranormal
still interests the modern audiences, for example miracles. The
paranormal is u...


... middle of paper ...


... we see
Richard is a villain because he generates the malevolence and violence
in the play, being efficient, imaginative, persuasive, intelligent and
confident and in control. The play tells the audience about the events
that took place, for example, the ghosts murdered cursing Richard just
before he goes to war with Richmond. This allows the audience to make
up their own mind if the supernatural affected Richard's conscience
and his guilt. I feel that the use of paranormal is effective because
it allows the audience to get into the character's minds and see what
they are thinking. This enables the audience to look at the characters
life and personality and how it has changed. For example, Richard's
personality changes from hostile and vicious to a self-pitying person
who realises that: "There is no creature loves me!"

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

William Shakespeare 's Henry Iv : Part I Essay

- One of the most famous scenes in Henry IV: Part I is the scene in which Prince Hal and Falstaff put on a play extempore. This is often cited as the most famous scene because it is Hal’s turning point in the play. However, the scene is much more than that. The play extempore is a moment of prophecy, not epiphany because is cues the reader in to the play’s major themes, and allows readers to explore the possibilities of the play’s continuance. In his speech at the end of 1.2, Hal says that he is only spending time in the taverns and with misfits so that when he achieves glory, it will look even greater than it is....   [tags: William Shakespeare, Henry V of England, Henry V]

Good Essays
1338 words (3.8 pages)

William Shakespeare's Richard III Essay

- William Shakespeare's Richard III William Shakespeare’s characterization of Britain’s historical monarch Richard III, formerly Duke of Gloucester, is one of the most controversial in literature. To this day there are arguments upholding Richard III’s villainy and ascertaining his murder of the Princes in the tower, just as there are those who believe that he has been falsely represented by Shakespeare’s play and fight avidly to clear his name of any and all crimes. Because of the uncertainty surrounding his true character, Richard III is an intriguing personality to put into modern culture, which is exactly what Ian McKellen does in his rendition of the infamous ruler....   [tags: William Shakespeare Richard III Essays]

Good Essays
843 words (2.4 pages)

William Shakespeare's Richard III, the Duchess of York Essay

- We often say there is no love other than mothers love, but the character of the Duchess conflict that. In William Shakespeare's Richard III, the Duchess of York seemed vague with her responds, She seems very patient also with Richard III at the being of the play; nonetheless She never explore her hatred throughout the play. She is a widowed mother, of Clarence, King Edward IV and Richard III. The Duchess of York has very bad relationship with her son due to his bad things he do, for example killing anyone that gets on his way to become king....   [tags: clarence, richard, queen elizabeth]

Good Essays
791 words (2.3 pages)

Richard III by William Shakespeare Essay

- Written during a time of peace immediately following the conclusion of the War of the Roses between the Yorks and the Lancasters, William Shakespeare’s play Richard III showcases a multi-faceted master of linguistic eloquence, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, a character who simultaneously manages to be droll, revolting, deadly, yet fascinating. Richard's villainy works in a keen, detestable manner, manifesting itself in his specific use or, rather, abuse of rhetoric. He spends a substantial amount of time directly interacting and therefore breaking the fourth wall and orating to the audience in order to forge a relationship with them, to make members not only his confidants of murderous intenti...   [tags: richard, Duke of Gloucester]

Good Essays
1616 words (4.6 pages)

The Effectiveness of Act 1 of William Shakespeare's Othellow Essay example

- The Effectiveness of Act 1 of William Shakespeare's Othellow I feel that Act 1 provides an exciting opening to the play because it quickly draws the audience in to the story from the start and introduces a lot of the main characters like Othello, Desdemona, Iago and Cassio, and the differing interpretations of each individual's personality. It also introduces a lot of themes that run throughout the play like honesty, deception and jealousy....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
753 words (2.2 pages)

The Effectiveness of Act 1:3 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

- The Effectiveness of Act 1:3 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth This is the first scene where we encounter Macbeth after he has been talked of highly in the previous scenes. Since he is the title character then his opening scene and first impression is of great importance, and is therefore made dramatic and striking by Shakespeare. The change in Macbeth's character during the scene is fairly evident as he starts to become power hungry, and the struggle between good and evil is soon present as he becomes more intrigued by the witches' predictions....   [tags: Papers]

Good Essays
1360 words (3.9 pages)

Free College Essays - The Last Act of Richard III

- The Last Act of Richard III In Shakespeare's play Richard III, the main character Richard is developed as an actor - to the degree of morbidity. Richard is forever putting on an act, and playing the part that he thinks will most please whomever he shares the stage with at a given moment. Not that to please is his ultimate goal, it is just a means to get what he wants--which is the tempting role of the king. His acts are from the start plentiful, and for some time almost surprisingly effective....   [tags: Richard II Richard III Essays]

Free Essays
787 words (2.2 pages)

Richard II in William Shakespeare Essay

- Richard II in William Shakespeare The plays of William Shakespeare are generally easy to categorize, and the heroes of these plays are equally so. However, in the history play Richard II, Shakespeare’s king is more ambiguous than Hamlet or Romeo– there is no clear cut answer to whether Richard II is a tragic hero... or simply a tragedy. Historically, Richard II was crowned at a very young age, forced into the role of monarch, and thrust without hesitation into the murky world of political intrigue, which perhaps lends his character sympathy because he had no choice in his fate....   [tags: Hero Richard II Shakespeare Essays]

Good Essays
705 words (2 pages)

Essay about The Power of Women in Richard III

- The Power of Women in Richard III In Shakespeare's The Tragedy of King Richard the Third, the historical context of the play is dominated by male figures. As a result, women are relegated to an inferior role. However, they achieve verbal power through their own discourse of religion and superstition. In the opening speech of Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 1-30 Lady Anne orients the reader to the crucial political context of the play and the metaphysical issues contained within it (Greenblatt, 509)....   [tags: William Shakespeare Richard III Richard II]

Good Essays
1485 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on The Supernatural in Shakespeare's Richard III

- The Supernatural in Shakespeare's Richard III Casting a darkly mythical aura around Richard III, supernatural elements are intrinsic to this Shakespearean history play. The prophetic dreams of Clarence and Stanley blur the line between dream and reality, serving to foreshadow impending doom. The ghosts that appear before Richard III and Richmond before their battle create an atmosphere of dread and suspense, and they also herald Richard's destiny. The curses of three female royalties are fulfilled at the end, serving as reminders that the divine powers are stronger than Richard's malice....   [tags: Richard III William Shakespeare Essays Papers]

Good Essays
1457 words (4.2 pages)