Essay on The Character of King Richard III in William Shakespeare's Play

Essay on The Character of King Richard III in William Shakespeare's Play

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The Character of King Richard III in William Shakespeare's Play


In my opinion Richard is definitely not a hero, he is nothing more
than an immoral villain. He is a cunning, callous and carefree
murderer. However, for much of the play the audience view him as a
hero. Throughout my essay I aim to argue why Richard is an immoral
villain whilst contrasting why many may perceive him as a hero.

For much of the play Richard may be seen as a hero. One reason for
this is his dramatic language. Shakespeare’s use of long, fascinating
monologues in which Richard outlines his evil plans and thoughts are
central to the audiences experiences and impressions of Richard. Thus,
enabling his manipulative character to charm the audience. In (1, 1,
125-127) Richard speaks to the audience about his time at war. ‘Our
bruised arms hung up for monuments’ (1, 1, 125) he creates an image
that they have hung their armour up victoriously. This would therefore
suggest that he his heroic as he has led his side to victory. When
saying ‘I, that am rudely stamp’d and want love’s majesty’ (1, 1, 126)
Richard gains sympathy from the audience as he is saying that he was
badly made and doesn’t have the looks to gain love from a woman,
unlike others who can enjoy ‘sportive tricks‘(1, 1, 14). The audiences
sympathy for Richard is also enhanced when he mentions’ that so lamely
and unfashionable that dogs bark at me’(1, 1, 23). The way in which he
talks about his victories and uses the pronoun ‘our’ before ‘I’ pushes
the audience to look upon him as a hero, as we are learning that he
has fought amongst others to gain victory for his country, before then
learning about his...


... middle of paper ...


... signs of remorse and guilt after the
ghosts begin to haunt him as he realises he can no longer fight
against his conscience ‘ O coward conscience, how does thou afflict
me!’. He is trying to fight against it because he doesn’t‘ want to
admit he is a villain also ‘I rather hate myself/ for hateful deeds
committed by myself. I am a villain - yet I lie, I am not!’ shows how
he is indecisive and can no longer hide what he has done.

Overall I believe that Richard is clearly a villain and not a hero.
Although Richard cunningly builds his way to become King he doesn’t
deserve the title. He is a ruthless murderer who disregards others and
focuses solely on himself. Shakespeare portrays Richard as a hero in
order to please the monarch at the time and therefore is unable to
express his views that Richard is a villain as well.

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Essay on The Character of King Richard III in William Shakespeare's Play

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