The Contribution of the Supernatural to Richard III Essay

The Contribution of the Supernatural to Richard III Essay

Length: 974 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Contribution of the Supernatural to Richard III

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
Yorkist.

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 ...


...Anne asked.

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
it’

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
possess.

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.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

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]

Strong Essays
1457 words (4.2 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]

Strong Essays
1485 words (4.2 pages)

Essay about Richard III: The Tragedy of Isolation

-   The real tragedy of Richard III lies in the progressive isolation of its protagonist.   From the very opening of the play when Richard III enters "solus", the protagonist's isolation is made clear. Richard's isolation progresses as he separates himself from the other characters and breaks the natural bonds between Man and nature through his efforts to gain power. The first scene of the play begins with a soliloquy, which emphasizes Richard's physical isolation as he appears alone as he speaks to the audience....   [tags: Richard II Richard III Essays]

Strong Essays
1206 words (3.4 pages)

Richard III and Adolf Hitler Essay

- Richard III and Adolf Hitler In William Shakespeare's Richard III, we see Shakespeare's interpretation of despot rule and the parallels that stem from this interpretation. The character type of Richard has been examined and marveled for thousands of years. From Plato's examination of despot rule in the Republic, we see the motives of what drives despot rulers. A look at the background of Richard and how his upbringing and personal life contributed to his insecurities will help to understand why someone may become a despot....   [tags: Richard II Richard III Essays]

Free Essays
731 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about Deformity in Richard III

- Richard III and Deformity Some scholars insist that Richard was neither crippled nor humpbacked, and they are passionately dedicated to proving that Shakespeare's portrait of the inhuman monster is based on Tudor propaganda used to bolster Henry VII's weak claim to the throne The only "proof" we have of Richard III's deformity is that which is provided by Sir Thomas More in "The History of King Richard the Third". It is here that modern readers digest the adjectives which forever plague Richard "Little of stature, ill-featured of limbs, crooked-backed, his left shoulder much higher than his right"....   [tags: Richard II Richard III Essays]

Free Essays
438 words (1.3 pages)

Essay about Seduction in Richard III

- Seduction in Richard III Seduction is definitely a dominant theme in Richard III. I noticed another instance of it to go along with the ones discussed in class the other night. Richard's wooing of Lady Anne is more than obvious than the example I've found; but, Act 1 scene 4 definitely contains another instance of seduction. This is Clarence's murder scene and the murderers have to convince one another to actually carry through with the act. Murderer One is the first to exhibit a hint of hesitation....   [tags: Richard II Richard III Essays]

Free Essays
351 words (1 pages)

Essay about Richard III - Did Richard Kill the Children?

- Did Richard III Kill the Children. We really cannot know for certain. If there was a cover-up to protect the actual murderers, it was done exceedingly well and so thoroughly that we will never be able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt what really happened. In spite of what I see as very persuasive evidence that Richard did not kill the children, there are many very intelligent, highly successful, and unquestionably reputable historical scholars out there who believe that they have evidence that the king did commit the murders and that this evidence is equally as compelling as anything I believe....   [tags: Richard II Richard III Essays]

Free Essays
1104 words (3.2 pages)

The Evil King in Shakespeare's Richard III Essay

- The Evil King in Shakespeare's Richard III Richard is an actor, a fully evil actor, who through his mastery of the stage has come to appreciate his skill. Richard Moulton, in his Shakespeare as a Dramatic Thinker, proclaims Richard's wonder at his own command of the stage: "Richard has become an artist in evil: the natural emotions attending crime-whether of passionate longing, or horror and remorse-have given place to artistic appreciation of masterpieces" (40). And Robert Weimann, comparing Richard Gloucester to a character in Shakespeare's King John states: "Both characters exemplify a strenuous need to perform, 'toiling desperately' to play a role, 'to find out,' and, for better or wor...   [tags: Richard II Richard III Essays]

Strong Essays
1880 words (5.4 pages)

Sun Imagery in Shakespeare's Richard III Essay example

- Sun Imagery in Shakespeare's Richard III      Shakespeare's Richard III is a play pervasive in figurative language, one of the most notable being the symbolic image of the sun and the shadow it casts. In an examination of a short passage from the text, it will be argued that Richard is compared to a shadow in relation to the sun, which has traditionally been held as a symbol of the king. The passage is significant not only because it speaks volumes about the plots of Richard, but also because it is relevant in understanding the overall plot of the play, which in the first few acts is almost indistinguishable from the plot of the scheming Duke of Gloucester....   [tags: Richard II Richard III Essays]

Strong Essays
609 words (1.7 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]

Strong Essays
843 words (2.4 pages)