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 worse, to take up arms against a thorny world" (130). Richard Gloucester begins taking up arms against his world in the opening scene as he finds himself shunned in the manners of friendship and love, being "cheated of feature by dissembling nature" (1.1.19), and he decides to take on the role of scoundrel: "And therefore since I cannot prove a lover / To entertain these fair well-spoken days, / I am determined to prove a villain / And hate the idle pleasures of these days" (1.1.28-31).
The physical deformity that pushes Richard to his evil conniving may be nothing more than a creation by Shakespeare to further point out Richard's wickedness. Peter Kilby, author of "The Princes in the Tower," claims that in reality Richard had no deformity, and that Shakespeare created it because "physical deformities were considered to be outward signs of an evil nature" (11). Not so much, according to Zamir, who states: "Various sources tell us that he was short, that one of his arms was smaller than the other, that his legs, too, were of unequal si...
... middle of paper ...
Moulton, Richard G. Shakespeare as a Dramatic Thinker. New York: MacMillan, 1907.
Oestreich-Hart, Donna J. "Therefore, Since I Cannot Prove a Lover." Studies in English Literature 40 (2000): 241-60.
Righter, Anne. Shakespeare and the Idea of the Play. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1962.
Spotswood, Jerald W. "Maintaining Hierarchy in The Tragedie of King Lear." Studies in English Literature 38 (1998): 265-80.
Squire, Sir John. Shakespeare as a Dramatist. London: Cassell and Company, 1935.
Stevenson, William B. "A Muse of Fire of a Winter of Discontent?" Journal of Management Education 20 (1996): 39-48.
Weimann, Robert. "Mingling Vice and 'Worthiness' in King John." Shakespeare Studies 27 (1999): 109-33.
Zamir, Tzachi. "A Case of Unfair Proportions: Philosophy in Literature." New Literary History 29 (1998): 501-20.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- This excerpt of King Richard III by William Shakespeare is from Act 5, Scene 3, and lines 316 to 343. It is right before the Battle of Bosworth, between Richard and Richmond. The two opposing sides have been drawing closer to each other, while the tension builds. The huge contrast in character between the leaders of the two armies is extremely evident. Having just been visited and cursed by ghosts, Richard is feeling extremely unconfident and unsure of himself. As the drum of his enemy sounds in the distance, Richard attempts to give his soldiers a final speech.... [tags: Question, Rhetorical question, Figure of speech]
1244 words (3.6 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Papers]
676 words (1.9 pages)
- In his article, "Shakespeare 's King Richard III and the Problematics of Tudor Bastardy", Maurice Hunt gives a convincing (dare I say legitimate!) argument for why he believes Shakespeare took a large risk writing and performing his play King Richard III during the life of Queen Elizabeth I. Knowing the challenges Elizabeth faced during her childhood and into her reign because of her father, King Henry VIII 's ever-changing mind whether or not she was a legitimate heir or a bastard, I agree with Hunt in the fact Shakespeare took a huge risk with his performances of Richard III, if in fact she did see the performance which is something I will be touching on later on, but for the sake of the r... [tags: Henry VII of England, Henry VIII of England]
1117 words (3.2 pages)
- 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]
1485 words (4.2 pages)
- Richard's Loss of Self in Richard III The attack of "conscience" that King Richard suffers in Act 5, Scene 5 of Shakespeare's Richard III (133-157) can be seen as the psychological climax of the drama, one that is critical to both Richard's development as a character and the play's ultimate success. Richard's struggle to reconcile the many different roles he attempts to play into one unified self, reflected in the tone and composition of his speech, adds depth and humanity to his character; at the same time, his ultimate failure to maintain his "self-made" identity simplifies the play in a way that allows the author to satisfy his audience by punishing the villain and reaffirmi... [tags: Richard II Richard III Essays]
1332 words (3.8 pages)
- One major purpose of works of fiction, whether they be prose, poetry, or plays, is to transport their audience to another time, to another place, somewhere beyond where they sit or stand or lie. That, after all, is why there is a distinction between fiction and nonfiction. This purpose holds true even in the case of a historical play like Richard III, which is based on actual happenings. However, in seeming contrast to this purpose is the principle of Aristotle’s three unities, which is to “make a plot more plausible, more true-to-life, and thus to follow Aristotle’s concept of mimesis, i.e., the attempt to imitate or reflect life as authentically as possible” by making sure there is a sense... [tags: richard III, aristotle, shakespeare]
1614 words (4.6 pages)
- 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]
1457 words (4.2 pages)
- 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]
609 words (1.7 pages)
- 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]
731 words (2.1 pages)
- 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]
438 words (1.3 pages)
- Almost the Wrestling State Champion
- Use of Symbolism in Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables
- The Character of Sir Gawain in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Da
- Sexuality in Aubrey Beardsley's Story of Venus and Tannhäuser
- Comparing the Use of Language in Titus Andronicus and Hamlet
- Evolution of the Modern Woman in Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse