The Foreshadow in the Death of Richard III in Shakespeare Essay

The Foreshadow in the Death of Richard III in Shakespeare Essay

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The Foreshadow in the Death of Richard III in Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s tragedy of Richard III is a play where death is one of
the central themes. It is therefore essential that Shakespeare makes
this theme obvious to the audience even before characters die, and his
primary way of doing this is through the foreshadowing of these
deaths. He does this through dreams, language forms, imagery, curses,
character and broken oaths. Due to these devices, the audience is
already aware that certain characters will die, enabling Shakespeare
to create dramatic irony. The context of the play is fundamental in
ensuring that foreshadowing is taken seriously. Richard III would have
been originally performed in front of an Elizabethan audience, an
audience who would have believed that foreshadowing, both obvious and
discreet, would have been extremely important. In addition they would
have taken dreams, one of the principal devices that Shakespeare uses
in Richard III to foreshadow death, very seriously.

Dreams in Richard III play a vital role in ensuring that the plot
moves along, moreover they play a significant part in the
foreshadowing of death. ‘So full of fearful dreams and ugly sights’
1.4.3-4. Clarence’s dream in this scene is one of the more evident
techniques Shakespeare uses to foreshadow death. Clarence interprets
his death as being an accident, however, as the audience is very much
aware of Richard’s true character, it becomes evident that it was not
an accident at all. ‘What sights of ugly death within mine eyes;
1.4.23-24’. Shakespeare makes very obvious references to Clarence’s
death in this dream, as well as using very morbid imager...


... middle of paper ...


... The Ghosts use very ominous
language when talking to Richard, and the phrase ‘Despair and Die’ is
repeated many times, which goes to further accentuate Richard’s
impending death.

Considering these ideas it can be concluded that from Richard’s first
appearance, the entire play has been veiled with death, which is
foreshadowed throughout the play of Richard III using techniques such
as imagery which reflects the theme of tragedy, and using it to
associate characters with seasons. Techniques such as these are fairly
discreet; nevertheless they are still evident to the audience. However
there are techniques used that are clearly apparent to the audience,
for example Margaret’s curses which are sometimes very literal in
their meaning, and often straight to the point.

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