Shakespeare/Richard III Themes term paper 12574

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In the play, Richard the III, by William Shakespeare, the character Richard

(Duke of Gloucester) is a very manipulative and deceiving person. Richard acts

like this in order to fulfill his dream to become King. And since he is at the

bottom of a long, long list to be King, he has a lot of people to deceive. But

when he does manipulate people, such as his brothers, Lady Anne, and Buckingham,

he does without mercy and conscience. Richard’s brothers are one of the first

people to be manipulated and he does it by making them think that one is trying

to kill the other. From Richard’s opening soliloquy from the beginning of the

play he tells us: And if King Edward be as true and just As I am subtle, false

and treacherous, This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up, About a prophecy,

which says that 'G' Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.(I,I, ) And this is

where King Edward the IV comes up with the assumption that their brother(George

Duke Of Clarence) is going to murder him. So King Edward locks George up in the

tower after Richard tells him about his false dream. Then Richard works his

deceiving mind on George saying, “And whatsoever you will employ me in,/Were

it to call King Edward’s widow sister,/ I will perform it to enfranchise

you.” (I,I, ) And what Richard is saying if you want I will kill the King for

you so that you can get revenge for this terrible act committed against you. And

just like that the two brothers already hate each other. Richard is a very smart

and deceptive man. But the real question should be whether he has the

intelligence to win the love an affection of a women who has lost her father and

husband to the hands of Richard. The funny thing is that Richard does accomplish

this feat. Lady Anne, when we meet her in the beginning of Act I, Scene II, has

a bitter hatred towards Richard. She even puts several curses on him such as,

“If ever he have child, abortive be it,/Prodigious, and untimely brought to

light,/Whose ugly and unnatural aspect/May fright the hopeful mother at the

view,”(I,II, ). But her attitude soon changes as Richard weaves his web of

deceit. Richard makes her believe that the reason why he murdered her husband

and father was over her beauty. That he was committing the acts for her sake,

“Your beauty was the cause of that effect;/Your beauty: which did haunt me in

my sleep/To undertake the death of all the world,/So I might live one hour in

your sweet bosom.”, that it was her love that he was trying to win and all

opposition would perish if they were in his way. And as soon as Richard said

those words, Lady Anne starts to question her thoughts and mentality. And that

is when it all goes down hill for her and by the end of the scene Lady Anne is

wearing Richard’s ring. Yet there is still one character that is essential to

Richard’s plans and that is Buckingham. Buckingham seems like a strong and

intelligent man yet he can not comprehend the power behind Richard. For

instance, Buckingham is thanking the Queen Margaret for not putting a curse on

him but then Richard asked what did she say and Buckingham replies, “Nothing

that I respect, my gracious Lord”, and in saying that he has just disrespected

Queen Margaret. Richard even goes so far in manipulating Buckingham, that

Buckingham himself breaks his own curse by going against the Queen Elizabeth in

which he said he would never do. He is also becoming Richard’s right hand man

even though Richard makes it look vice-versa. And just by manipulating these few

people, he has turned bother against brother, turned a woman who hated him into

his wife, and turned a man who was loyal to everyone to Richard’s accomplice.

Richard’s power of deceit and manipulation is about a thousand times higher

than anybody in “Richard the III”, by William Shakespeare, which makes for a

wild and interesting ride.


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