The Portrayal of Socially Destructive and Over-Ambitious Richard, in Shakespeare's Richard III

The Portrayal of Socially Destructive and Over-Ambitious Richard, in Shakespeare's Richard III

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Richard, the main character of the Shakespeare’s play, Richard III is portrayed as socially destructive and politically over-ambitious. His destructive potential is depicted by the way he relates with the other protagonists in the play and also by what he confesses as his intentions.
Richard’s political ambition is revealed through his strategic calculations based on the order of birth in his York family which puts him third away from the throne. Ahead of him is his elder brother, George Clarence, a barrier which will have to eradicate. His brother, King Edward, is another political barrier, by simply being alive, in power and equally by being the father of the two young princes . Richard’s creates a political mistrust between his two brothers without directly implicating himself to clear his way to power.
The main objective of this essay is to show how well Richard fits the figure of vice character in the Shakespeare’s play. We are going to examine this aspect of Richard from two dimensions. First of all, through his expressed intentions, motivations and deeds. Secondly, through what other characters accuse him of and their attitudes towards him. It will not be possible for us to revisit each character and how he or she relates with Richard. However, Anne, Margaret, the Duchess of York, citizens, the ghosts and finally Richmond will be examined.
Richard, the villain
From the beginning of the play, the character of Richard is depicted as amiss. Thomas More’s account of King Richard states that King Richard“was malicious, wrathful, envious, and, from afore his birth ever forward” (More, 2005:10).King Richard’s mother, the Duchesse of York is said to have had a hard labour at his birth. Richard is said to have come into the wor...


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...ueen Margaret, England will remain in turmoil.
Conclusion
Shakespeare introduces to us a character who is evil according to the moral judgement of the moment. He does not respect the social values and norms. For him social taboos such as incest and crimes such as murder cease to be wrong once they become instruments of power. He is Satan incarnated, cunning, greedy and destructive. He has no respect for those who observe social, norms, family ethics and political loyalty.
As a King, he governs with terror and assassinates those whose views differ from his. To us he is a dictator. The citizens are scared at the idea of being ruled by him. Their future is doomed with Richard in power. His own relatives and ghost shower him with curses and wants his downfall. Those who remain by his side are governed by fear lest they loose their lives and those of their loved ones.

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