Essay on Richard as an Anti-hero

Essay on Richard as an Anti-hero

Length: 984 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Richard as an Anti-hero:
To what extent does Richard embody this archetype?
In William Shakespeare’s play, Richard III, Richard is portrayed as physically deformed and psychologically affected. It is believed that his inner soul is a reflection of his physical deformities. Richard is considered as the protagonist of this play, however this is highly contradictive. A protagonist is the hero of the story who exhibits characteristics of courage and perseverance, and is admired for their brave deeds as well as their noble qualities. Richard however, contradicts the character portrayal of a hero and demonstrates himself as the exact opposite: an anti-hero. The play opens up with Richard’s, (Duke of Gloucester) soliloquy: “I am determined to prove a villain” (1.1.30). This enables the reader to recognize the antagonistic qualities that are embedded with the protagonist Richard. Shakespeare expresses the protagonist in a slightly different way compared to the normal. Richard exhibits not only villainous characteristics but he also use persuasion to manipulate others, rejects established values and traditions, and is rejected by society.
Although Richard’s physical appearance, does not allow him to impress others, his ability to persuade allows him to have an influence on individuals. A great example that demonstrates Richard’s ability to use his persuasive skills to manipulate people is expressed in Act I Scene II when Richard woos Anne. In this scene, Richard demonstrates perseverance and confidence, which are ideal characteristics of a protagonist, even though Anne calls him names and insults him. Although he is the guilty murderer he uses “language of forgiveness and Christian charity” (Pat Baldwin). Keep in mind that Richard kil...

... middle of paper ...

... someone who people wouldn’t want to be. Richard draws sympathy as well as disgust from the audience. Though Richard may be the main focus of the play, he does not possess qualities of a protagonist. It is safe to say that Richard is an immoral person who contradicts everything that represents a protagonist.

Works Cited
Gunnin, Steven Thor. An Essay on Shakespeare's Richard III: Portrait of an Anti-Hero. 20 October 2006. 2 April 2011 .

Pat Baldwin, Tom Baldwin. Cambridge Student Guide- Shakespeare's Richard III. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

R.Kayne. What is an anti-hero? 4 April 2011. 5 April 2011 .

Cambridge University. King Richard III. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Laundry List Of What It Can Be A Hero Essay

- A strong male with every characteristic of a traditional hero has been for years pushed by all types of media. The laundry list of what it takes to be a hero includes high expectancies common people find unattainable. Not everyone is a White male with a great physique and Christian morals. Due to the high standard, over the years there has been a shift in what the media depicts as a hero and what common people choose to look up to. The problem not only lies in film and television but also comes from local news outlets....   [tags: Hero, Superhero, Tragic hero, Preity Zinta]

Better Essays
918 words (2.6 pages)

A Hero, a King, and a Daemon Essay

- Gifted with the darkest attributes intertwined in his imperfect characteristics, Shakespeare’s Richard III displays his anti-hero traits afflicted with thorns of villains: “Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous / By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams” (I.i.32-33). Richard possesses the idealism and ambition of a heroic figure that is destined to great achievements and power; however, as one who believes that “the end justifies the means”, Richard rejects moral value and tradition as he is willing to do anything to accomplish his goal to the crown....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Shakespeare]

Better Essays
1163 words (3.3 pages)

Review Of Richard Stark 's ' The Hunter ' Essay

- Stephen Goree Dr. Jeff Netto English 103 11 November 2014 Parker’s Appeal In the short story “The Hunter” the author Richard Stark introduces Parker, the main character of this book. The main character is a rough man, he’s a criminal, a murderer, and even an escaped convict. He’s described as crude and rugged and though women are frightened by him, they want him. Parker is not the classic criminal, but rather he’s intelligent, hard, and cunning. In this story the author carefully appeals to his audience by making a loathsome criminal into a hero, or rather, an anti-hero....   [tags: Protagonist, Antagonist, Antihero, Character]

Better Essays
1222 words (3.5 pages)

Edward Snowden: An American Hero Essay

- Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency (N.S.A) subcontractor turned whistle-blower is nothing short of a hero. His controversial decision to release information detailing the highly illegal ‘data mining’ practices of the N.S.A have caused shockwaves throughout the world and have raised important questions concerning how much the government actually monitors its people without their consent or knowledge. Comparable to Mark Felt in the Watergate scandals, Daniel Ellsberg with the Pentagon Papers, Edward Snowden joins the rank of infamous whistleblowers who gave up their jobs, livelihood, and forever will live under scrutiny of the public all in the service to the American people....   [tags: Edward Snowden Essays]

Better Essays
676 words (1.9 pages)

Romance and Anti-Romance in Shakespeare's The Tempest Essay

- Romance and Anti-Romance in The Tempest       The specific genre classification that one may give to a piece such as The Tempest is often thought to be highly confusing. This is because so many of the qualities of a romance and a realism can be applied to it's words and actions, but at the same time pull away from the very sense of the genre that it is trying to achieve. A romance has many specific qualities, most of which rely on the fancy and imagination of the viewer or the reader. In some circles, it is even known as escapist....   [tags: Tempest essays]

Better Essays
2180 words (6.2 pages)

The Anti-Hero in ’The Godfather’ (part one) and ‘Of Mice and Men’ Essay

- From your garden-variety run-from-the-law thug, to the misunderstood maniacal scientist or the introverted girl scared of finding her away about the world, the term ‘Anti-hero’ is too broad a character to typecast; and so to reflect thematic issues associated, we can’t simply plunk the subheadings of ‘greedy’, ‘abusive’ or ’crazy’ etc upon them. The only independent variable, in the making of an anti-hero, through our own experiences and contextual environment, is their ability to make a connection with us....   [tags: Anti-Hero in Literature]

Better Essays
2525 words (7.2 pages)

Exploring Why We Enjoy the Anti-Hero Essay

- There is no doubt that the popularity of the anti-hero as we know it has increased in recent times. With unlikely, yet popular moral gray protagonists like Jack Bauer, Dexter, and Gregory House leading some of the most popular TV shows and characters like James Bond, Lisbeth Salander, Tyler Durden (from Fight Club), and Jack Sparrow being some of the most memorable in movies, it is not surprising that there has been an increased interest to understand what causes this characters to be so popular (Peter Jonason in et al., 193)....   [tags: The Rise of the Anti-Hero]

Better Essays
1664 words (4.8 pages)

A Tragic Hero And An Anti Hero Essay

- Like Aristotle had once said about tragedy, it is “the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in appropriate and pleasurable language; … in a dramatic rather than narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, where with to accomplish a catharsis of these emotions. A tragedy, therefore, is a kind of lie (“imitation”) that tells a certain truth about human nature and the self. Classical tragic heroes possess hamartia or a tragic flaw, such as hubris, that often lead to the character’s own downfall; and according to Aristotle, "A man cannot become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall." The protagonist must not only poss...   [tags: Tragic hero, Tragedy, Poetics]

Better Essays
1295 words (3.7 pages)

Essay about WINSTON SMITH an unusual hero in a very unusual world

- WINSTON SMITH-an unusual hero in a very unusual world The book 1984 written by George Orwell in 1948 which presents a nightmare vision into the future where no one is safe from the beading eyes of BIG BROTHER. No fun is allowed as life is dull and bleak. Jobs are boring and - as you are forced to work for the party and forced to work for a leader who has never been seen. Many of the ideas in the novel have been derived from the ending of the Second World War. The book was written post world war and Orwell believed the future would be just as depressing....   [tags: English Literature]

Better Essays
1229 words (3.5 pages)

Richard the Third as a Hero or a Villain Essay

- A hero is a man who is distinguished by exceptional courage, nobility and strength to carry out tasks that are involving great risks. A hero can also be a person who fights for other people to help or save them from their fears. He opposes the villain- a person who does wicked or evil intentionally to harm others in some way, emotionally or physically. A character that is placed to do badly. He is always opposing the hero to overthrow the hero’s qualities to gain power from the other side to help him or his side....   [tags: Papers Richard III]

Free Essays
2535 words (7.2 pages)