Deformity in Richard III

Deformity in Richard III

Length: 438 words (1.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
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".  This


description may seem horrible, but it is only compounded when it is


placed next to the deformity of his character.  Regardless of whether


Richard was truly the demon he was portrayed to be, the role of Richard


III as established by William Shakespeare is one of the more


challenging roles for the Shakespearean actor. Because this week's


annotations were to be focused on the actor's perspective of


Shakespeare, I chose to focus my posting on the same topic.


               First of all, Richard III is on stage longer than any other Bard


character. Usually, the time on stage is not a bed of roses either.


The actor must limp, wear a hump, or at least hunch over for the


duration of the play.  This may doom an actor to chiropractic


sessions for the rest of their life!


               Certain actors have defined the role of Richard.  Antony Sher


researched the affects of scoliosis on the body, and any other


back deformity he could.  When it was time for him to begin acting the


role and he saw the make-up crews version of his hump he stated,




"With my heart in my mouth, I hurry over to see my back.  It's


much softer than I imagined, lying on the floor like a big pink


blancmange, a slice of blubber, a side of Elephant Man.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Deformity in Richard III." 11 Nov 2019

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay about Richard III: The Tragedy of Isolation

-   The real tragedy of Richard III lies in the progressive isolation of its protagonist.   From the very opening of the play when Richard III enters "solus", the protagonist's isolation is made clear. Richard's isolation progresses as he separates himself from the other characters and breaks the natural bonds between Man and nature through his efforts to gain power. The first scene of the play begins with a soliloquy, which emphasizes Richard's physical isolation as he appears alone as he speaks to the audience....   [tags: Richard II Richard III Essays]

Research Papers
1206 words (3.4 pages)

Richard III and Adolf Hitler Essay

- 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]

Free Essays
731 words (2.1 pages)

The Evil King in Shakespeare's Richard III Essay

- The Evil King in Shakespeare's Richard III 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 wor...   [tags: Richard II Richard III Essays]

Research Papers
1880 words (5.4 pages)

Richard III by William Shakespeare Essay

- Written during a time of peace immediately following the conclusion of the War of the Roses between the Yorks and the Lancasters, William Shakespeare’s play Richard III showcases a multi-faceted master of linguistic eloquence, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, a character who simultaneously manages to be droll, revolting, deadly, yet fascinating. Richard's villainy works in a keen, detestable manner, manifesting itself in his specific use or, rather, abuse of rhetoric. He spends a substantial amount of time directly interacting and therefore breaking the fourth wall and orating to the audience in order to forge a relationship with them, to make members not only his confidants of murderous intenti...   [tags: richard, Duke of Gloucester]

Research Papers
1616 words (4.6 pages)

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

- 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....   [tags: English Literature, Literary Analysis, Analytical ]

Research Papers
2911 words (8.3 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)

Essay about The Downfall Of Richard IIi

- During his reign, King Richard III was considered to be a rather tyrannical ruler; he was accused of multifarious murders. He killed off those that were close to him and were considered blocking figures for his ambition. Although Richard committed various evil deeds, how different is he from the evil rulers later on in time. Richard ruled for a very short time compared to other sadistic dictators, kings, and princes. How is Richard III similar and different compared to other rulers in a more modern time and villains from Stories, novels, movies and television shows....   [tags: Adolf Hitler, Nazi Germany, The Holocaust]

Research Papers
1789 words (5.1 pages)

Richard III as a Successful Politician Essay

- Richard III as a Successful Politician Shakespeare's Richard III is set in England after the War of the Roses. Richard, the megalomanic eponymous character, is desperate for the throne of England. He tells us that he seeks the crown to compensate for his deformity (he was a hunchback from birth). Richard has his own brother killed and later has former allies and those who still stood in his way killed also. When Richard eventually gains the throne he finds his conscience and begins to feel insecure, he has the two Princes he has locked away killed....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
2406 words (6.9 pages)

Essay on The Director's Notes on Richard III

- The Director's Notes on Richard III I think that the thing which makes this scene so powerful is the fact that Anne gives in to Richard’s ways after she knows that he killed her husband and her father-in-law. What makes it even more powerful is that we, the audience, find it hard to believe a modern woman would give in to Richard that quickly, or at all. Also we know that the only reason he is trying to marry her is to get closer to the crown. We know this because he says: ‘‘The readiest way to make the wench amends Is to become her husband and her father, The which will I, not all so much for love, As for another secret close intent’’ I think that i...   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
882 words (2.5 pages)

Stylistic Techniques in "Richard III" Essay

- Throughout the Play Richard III, author William Shakespeare incorporates great uses of stylistic features to aid the overall quality of the story and to help achieve success within the very complicated plot. In an attempt to intensify Richard's plot to gain the throne of England, he uses three specific minor plays, to create an overall production for the audience. The first play which we see involves Richard connecting directly with the audience on the same level in Act 1 Scene 1. He tells us that despite the recent bloodshed and destruction caused by the War of the Roses, he is in full swing in an attempt to take over the throne of England....   [tags: European Literature]

Research Papers
577 words (1.6 pages)

Related Searches

 I can hardly


get my clothes off fast enough to hoist it onto my back."


               Psychologically, Richard must choose between portraying the


seductive character, of the deformed wretch of a man using love as


an excuse.


               Basically, the role of Richard is one which captivates and


infuriates actors.  To deform, or not to deform, to seduce or


not to seduce. . . these are the questions which keep the role


of Richard III alive for actors today.

Return to