During the Renaissance period people were very superstitious and
England on a whole was an extremely religious country; people believed
in both God and the Devil and Heaven and Hell. They also believed in
prophecies, supernatural and curses. A modern audience would have
reacted very differently to the play than a Shakespearean audience.
The events contained within Richard III must have seemed very real to
a Shakespearean audience as it depicts the historical events of the
rise and fall of Richard III. For a Shakespearean audience these
events happened only a century earlier. To a modern audience it is
viewed as what it is, a dramatisation of a historical event.
The War of the Roses was a civil war in England that lasted from
1455-1487. These thirty years of warfare were even more destructive to
England than the hundred years of warfare had been in the previous
century. Fought between two branches of the Plantagenet family, the
Houses of Lancaster and York, the wars were named after the emblems of
the contending parties: the white rose of York and the red of
Lancaster. Richard’s opening soliloquy refers to the fact that the
Yorkist faction is in the ascendant:-
‘Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York.’
This is a reference to Richard and his brother Edward IV being
William Shakespeare’s play Richard III is littered with references to
the supernatural. This contributes to our understanding of the plot of
the play; it also brings excitement to the audience and draws them
into the action of the play. I believe Shakespeare...
... middle of paper ...
Lady Anne asks for revenge with a string of curses. Despite Lady
Anne’s anger her speech pattern remains consistent, she continues to
use repetition as a powerful weapon to complement her anger.
‘…. O cursed be the hand that made these holes, cursed the blood that
let this blood from hence, cursed the heart that had the heart to do
The repetition of ‘cursed’ implies a spell has been cast.
Both Lady Anne and Queen Margaret use curses as a form of control over
the situation. The use of curses is the only power these women
Richard III took his own destiny and that of his country into his own
hands. He disturbed the natural order of things, and for that God made
pay. To conclude we in the end we say God take his revenge upon
Richard and made him accountable for all his evil doing.
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