Shakespeare's Richard III is from the outset a very moral play. It opens with an introduction to the character of Richard in his "Now is the winter..." speech. In this we are first introduced to the idea of a man becoming evil from his own free will, excused (by him) on the grounds of his inability to fit in with the physical ideals of society, saying, "And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover... I am determined to prove a villain." Although we are not, at this point, given a definite indication of Shakespeare's opinion on this moral position, it is the opening for a discussion on what is morally acceptable, which is continued quite decisively throughout the play.
The character of Richard is the ideal tool for this purpose. He is …show more content…
Buckingham indeed becomes resigned to his impending doom, saying, as he is lead off to the block, "Come, sirs, convey me to the block of shame. /Wrong hath but wrong, and blame the due of blame." This calmness and resignation upon the point of his death show that Buckingham at least is not so caught up in immorality as to take his death as other than just punishment for his crimes. Hastings, too, goes quietly to the block, regretting his ignoble triumphing over his slain enemies, Lords Rivers, Grey and Vaughan. Of these three, Vaughan is silent, Grey believes his death to be in retribution "For standing by when Richard stabbed her [Margaret's] son", and Rivers prays "for my sister and her princely sons, Be satisfied, dear God, with our true bloods...Which, as thou knowest, unjustly must be spilt." From these, we see both a recognition of some past misdeed for which they are being punished, and a touching request that they may be the sacrifice to keep the grieving queen and the heir safe. This last minute resignation and remembrance of others who may be in danger indicates a last-ditch courage, and an acceptance of what the world's moral judgement (spoken through Margaret) would be.
Retribution is a key issue throughout the play. All those who commit crimes are eventually punished, and Richard can be seen as the tool of retribution, as it is through his scheming
Moreover, Richard’s multifaceted nature in his determination to attain power is further accentuated through the striking metaphor “And thus I clothe my naked villainy …And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.”, which Shakespeare employs to represent Richard as an embodiment of absolute evil and amorality. Hence, the Shakespearean audience becomes aware of the destruction of Richard’s moral compass as he sacrifices the value of honesty in his ambitious plan to gain power and engage in sacrilegious acts to create his own fate. Comparatively, Pacino reshapes the downfall of Richard as a result of his ambition for power to reflect the secular perspective of free will and aspiration. As such, Pacino’s reimagining of the opening soliloquy with a mid shot of Pacino leaning over the sick King Edward effectively encapsulates the control Richard possesses, which allows him to deceive the king and maneuver his way
Upon Richard's return to England, he learns of the events that had transpired in his absence. At first his own arrogance allows him to believe that since it is his God given right to rule as King, he will be protected. But then just as quickly, Richard's arrogance turns into despair upon the realization that Henry has gained support of the nobles and the people of England. Henry and Richard finally meet at Ramparts Castle leading to the climax of the play. Henry demands retribution for the allocation of his families' possessions and
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.
It is only during his deposition and his imprisonment that Richard shows his greatest strength as a dramatic figure. Although occasionally he seems to demonstrate self-pity, he also reveals himself to have an acute awareness of the ironies and absurdities in the structure of power of his kingdom. He still compels the court to reconsider his initial claim that the crown is divinely appointed: “Not all the water… can wash the balm of an anointed king (3.2.55)”. Although he keeps reminding those present of his God-given mandate to rule, he seems also to take pleasure in passing on the trails of kingship to his successor. As a King, He does have a God-given position of being the king. But as a king one should know the difference between moral values and ethics values. Just because Richard is King and is appointed by God doesn’t give him any rights to be an awful ruler. He can’t always fight a problem by saying that he is
Since Richard cannot do anything about his deformity and ugliness he turns his bitterness to ambition and lays the groundwork for his plan to betray King Edward IV. Richard tells the audience, “plots have I laid, inductions dangerous, by drunken prophecies, libels and dreams, to set my brother Clarence and the King in deadly hate against the other; and if King Edward be as true and just as I am subtle, false, and treacherous, this day should Clarence closely be mewed up, about a prophecy, which says that G OF Edward’s heirs the murderer shall be” (1.1.32-40). In these lines, Richard reveals his plan that he will turn Clarence and King Edward against each other so Edward will banish Clarence to the tower because he believes Clarence will be his murderer. Richard will do this through declaring a prophecy that this will be so. Richard explains that this will work because King Edward is as just as Richard is treacherous and Richard will use that against King Edward to cause his and Clarence’s demise. It is not known whether the character Richard would have revealed more about his plan this early in the play because he is interrupted by Clarence. Richard ends the speech with the lines, “dive thoughts down to my soul, here Clarence comes” (1.1.41), which basically means that he better keep
While his heart must be black, Richard must convey the appearance of a humble and gracious ruler. He will say or do anything to gain and then to keep his crown. Perhaps the most striking examples of this Jekyl and Hyde farce are his pledges of undying love for two women he plans to have killed, claiming that all the heinous acts he's committed were only for their love.
Human beings behave with a conscience, an innate feeling of right and wrong. The conscience prevents most people from committing horrific acts, and those who commit such acts bear a guilty conscience. Richard starts out as the perfect Machiavellian, but as Shakespeare’s historical drama Richard III unfolds, he becomes fallible due to his conscience. Richard’s Machiavellian techniques allow him to rise to the throne; the same tactics cause Richard’s demise. Shakespeare explicitly uses Richard’s failure to demonstrate that Machiavelli’s philosophy does not work. According to Shakespeare the most important reason for the downfall of Richard is his conscience, and Machiavelli’s philosophy does not account for this quality of human nature.
Ambition is an earnest desire for achievement. Both texts are self reflexive and emphasise Richard’s obsessive ambition, desire and longing for the throne. Each Richard strives towards capturing the throne regardless of consequences and bloodshed. Richard is depicted in both texts as an ambitious character who strives to gain power and independence through deception and self confessed villainy. ‘Since I cannot prove a lover. . . I am determined to prove a villain’ This obsession which drives Richard to commit horrific evils to gain and then protect his claim to the throne. His ambition, power and evil blinds him and inevitably is responsible for his downfall in both of the texts. A connection is formed between Looking for Richard and King Richard III in the final scenes Al Pacino’s interpretation and ‘Hollywood’ background influences an ending which can be interpreted as portraying Richmond as a coward. Elizabethan audiences
Although the concept of good and evil is subjective, one who knowingly commits a wrongful act, otherwise known as sin, must face consequences either externally or within their own mind. In the final Act of William Shakespeare's Richard III, Richard's conscience torments him after he dreams that he is visited from all of the souls he has killed. Act 5 Scene 3 is perhaps the most notable of the play, as it is the only scene in which Richard pauses to reflect on the severity of his actions; it is the only moment in which he feels guilty, fearful and unsure of himself and his success. In the passage following Richard's dream, Shakespeare relies on rhetorical and structuring devices to demonstrate Richard's uncertainty.
There is huge debate from both supporters and haters. The Richard III society claims that the facts we do know don’t support Shakespeare’s story. Recent evidence of two unidentifiable skeletons in the tower of London exists but isn’t conclusive. Richard still had the same possible motive as the play,the princes were in the way of the throne (Hicks, 362). If he isn’t guilty of this crime it could change the way he is viewed. The uncertainty leaves room for us to turn to the one source that is definitive, Shakespeare's play. Shakespeare used this uncertainty to gain our attention and amplify our accusations against Richard. Murdering relatives may have not been so appalling in its day ( University of Leicester, Web) but as time passes we continue to recoil and speculate, but it’s possible we will never know the
Their antisocial behavior shows how failure they are, and how they do not learn from their experiences. Richard is a white character who is from a royal family. His motivation for being a king makes him violent and bloody character. Richard kills anyone who runs for the throne. Richard’s mind explores his evil personality, and his deeds reflect his sophisticated and complicated behavior. He is unconscious that his antisocial behavior could lead him to his perdition. On the other hand, Shakespeare creates Aaron as a black character whose motivation represents his evil personality. Aron’s motivation is to make Tamora's dream of revenge to a real dream. At the end of the play, Aron admits that he has a hand in all the crimes that happened to Titus’s family, and he does not feel guilty for his deeds. Aaron has been shown as “untruthfulness, insincerity and lack of remorse or shame.”(705). He
According to the article, titled "After digging up old bones, Britain argues: was King Richard III a villain?" written by the Washing Post, the central idea of this article is about King Richard III's life and whether or not he is a villain. For example, the author states "Before he was king, Richard III was a loyal supporter of his brother, Edward IV. Upon Edward's death, however, Richard usurped the crown from his brother's 12-year-old son, Edward V" (Washington Post, "After digging up old bones, Britain argues: was King Richard III a villain?", paragraph 5). This statement shows us a snippet of King Richard III's life and it also shows us how he was as a person before he became king. However it does not show the villainous acts he is accused
Richard is a victim of bullying throughout the play, and this causes him to do harmful things to others. His deformity is something that he is very insecure about, and when characters in the play insult him, it leads to him getting revenge on them. Anne, when Richard is talking to her as a potential love interest, insults him, “Blush, blush, thou lump of deformity” (1.2.58). As Richard is trying to be charming, Anne strikes his insecurity, which upsets him, and causes him to hurt her later. Queen Margaret calls Richard names as well, “Thou elvish-marked, abortive, rooting hog” (1.3.228). This is especially hurtful to Richard, because he is trying to be especially desirable to win over her daughter, yet he is still called rude names. Later in the play, Richard implies that he is going to kill Anne, “Come hither; Catesby. Rumor it abroad / That Anne my wife is very grievous sick; / I will take order for keeping close”(4.2.50-52). This is awfully suspicious and implying that he is going to kill her, which is his revenge for her calling him a lump of deformity, as well as allowing him to proceed in his plans to take the throne. He is insecure about the insults, but he still tries his best to be kind to the women in the play.
A literary critic of Hamlet, Patrick Cruttwell, explores in his writing titled The morality of Hamlet- ‘Sweet Prince or ‘Arrant Knave’? the purpose of religion during Elizabethan times to set moral value sets that often conflicted with man’s nature. Additionally, Cruttwell states the actions in the play aggressively clash with the religious values of the time period. Shakespeare illustrates throughout the play that not abiding by the only moral structure of the time period, religion, man is doomed to self destruction by giving into his chaotic Dionysian nature.
Throughout this soliloquy in act 3 scene 4 of Shakespeare's Richard III Lord Hastings is led to his execution. This scene portrays how the cycle of nemesis turns for all who choose to chase earthly glory. He projects his regret to chase power alongside Richard as well as when he neglected to acknowledge the many implications that led to his demise ultimate punishment, death. He is currently being lowered off the wheel of fortune while simultaneously Richard has come one step into his goal with his execution.