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Seduction is definitely a dominant theme in Richard III. I
noticed another instance of it to go along with the ones discussed
in class the other night. Richard's wooing of Lady Anne is more
than obvious than the example I've found; but, Act 1 scene 4
definitely contains another instance of seduction.
This is Clarence's murder scene and the murderers have to convince
one another to actually carry through with the act. Murderer One is
the first to exhibit a hint of hesitation. When Brakenbury and the
keeper leave the cell Murderer Two asks if he should stab Clarence
while he sleeps and Murderer One says, "No, he'll say 'twas done
cowardly when / he wakes" (I.iv, 101-102). After replying that
Clarence would not awake until Judgment Day, Murderer Two soon
expresses regret for being there. "The urging of that word
'judgment' hath / bred a kind of remorse
in me" (I.iv, 107-108).
From here on out neither murderer is very resolute in his actions
and I got the feeling the only reason the job got done at all is
because the duo was backed into a corner once the Duke awoke and
even then Murderer two did not participate in the killing. They did
exactly what Gloucester urged them not to do and allowed the Duke
to awake and engage them in conversation thus prolonging the killing.
In the end it only Murderer One that goes through with the killing
as Clarence is able to touch the heart of the second murderer so much so that he
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so that he even tries to warn the Duke when the first murderer attacks.
After the deed is done Murderer Two is completely remorseful for his
part. "A bloody deed, and desprately dis- / patch'd! / How fain,
like Pilate, would I wash my hands / Of this most grievous murther!"
In this scene seduction is only partially successful.