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Unregistered
07-27-2003, 01:00 AM
For those confused by the play, I'd recommend reading the plays that preceed it, including the Henry plays. In some ways, it's all one big play. There are many of the same characters throughout. Some of the characters who appear briefly in "Richard III" appear at length in the other plays so that what is happening among the people in "Richard III" becomes a lot clearer.

Amber
05-24-2005, 06:07 PM
I'm studying this play for my year 12 English coursework and I found at the beginning, the language and structure hard to understand but now, I'm grasping Shakespeare's use of language. The aspect I'm focusing on is Richard's relationship with women, which I think is the most interesting issue throughout the play. Richard is continually shown to use the women to gain and retain the crown. Does any one else agree?

el01ks
10-20-2005, 07:15 AM
I think Richard uses whatever he can get his hands on to claim the throne, he lies, cheats, uses Anne and tries to marry Elizabeth, but he also uses the men, playing them off against each other and then betraying buckingham. He's a fantastic character, born to be evil because of his evil appearance. This is one of my favourites of Shakespeare's plays!
The women in general are weak - even Margaret as RIchard's sworn enemy can only curse him, and it is left to the young Richmond to win the day - Elizabeth has use only as breeding stock and to give him some credibility.

James Sandford
10-26-2005, 09:10 AM
Hi,

I am also studying this play at AS level and I am currently writing an essay on the presentation of women in the first act. I have already included the ideas of manipulation and the use of women as tools but i am now stuck for further ideas! :rage: Help??????????? :nod:

Thanks.

Rosalind
10-27-2006, 01:08 PM
Huh. Well, I think manipulation and use of as tools pretty much summarizes Richard's relationship with women--with the possible exception of his mother. He seems to regret the fact that she hates his guts. You should probably get something on the historical context and how that influences the presentation of women in there. For example, the reason that Margaret, Anne, etc are left alive after ending up on the losing side of a civil war is simply because women were not considered a political threat. That has a big influence on Anne's scene, I think. She's grieving, and she really hates Richard, yes, but she's also vulnerable in every sense of the word. She would have been very young, very scared, and left alive only on sufferance, and she knows that. One other thing. Richard may take a very pragmatic view towards marriage and romance, but I think he really enjoys trying to win a woman over in spite of his deformities, especially a woman like Anne who, as we've established, thinks he's Satan come to earth. Just like the rest of his political maneuvering, he enjoys the game as much as the prize. Good luck!

Gwenhwyfar2828
12-14-2006, 11:20 PM
i reckon richards motives generally are revenge. He demeans (for lack of a better word) women simply because Margaret murdered his father.
Now, i (in agreement with above) see the three parts of henry VI and richard III as a quadrilogy anyway & if you look at it that way, Richard is praised
as a great warrior by Neville, his father and Warwick during the battles of part 2, congratulated as 'one of the boys' despite
his deformity then, Margaret kills York & we first really do see Richards rage, Warwick joined with Margaret in part 3 so demeaning
his daughter is revenge against him.

byquist
12-16-2006, 09:07 PM
Richard is into power. The irony is that he is successful in his skillful rise to power; then when he gets it he does everything wrong. He's good at the chase but a loser after obtaining his prize.

Richard's scenes with women are slick; there's a part of him that could have been a very good boy, and he understands some high ideals or something of the sublime, but it is covered over by crassness.

Bitterfly
02-19-2009, 06:48 PM
The women in general are weak - even Margaret as RIchard's sworn enemy can only curse him, and it is left to the young Richmond to win the day - Elizabeth has use only as breeding stock and to give him some credibility.

The male characters are as weak as them, if you except Richmond - viz. the idiotic Hastings, the cowardly Stanley, the weak Clarence, the idealistic Edward (who should really know better!) or the over-confident Buckingham. And the Queen helps in bringing about his downfall and manages to deceive Richard, turning the tables on him for once. Furthermore, the women are among the only ones not to be fooled by Richard, except for Anne, and she soon realizes whom she's married. Margaret's curses are not to be taken lightly, since they have the nasty habit of coming true.

The fact that they remain alive at the end of the play, contrary to many male characters, also points to a certain staying power, even if you justify it by the fact that they were not, it's true, politically powerful enough to constitute a threat.

Richard is a misogynistic character, and that's rather understandable, but I don't think the play portrays women as foolish weaklings, good as vessels and nothing else. Give Shakespeare more credit than that!

kelby_lake
11-15-2012, 08:42 AM
For those confused by the play, I'd recommend reading the plays that preceed it, including the Henry plays. In some ways, it's all one big play. There are many of the same characters throughout. Some of the characters who appear briefly in "Richard III" appear at length in the other plays so that what is happening among the people in "Richard III" becomes a lot clearer.

I really agree with this.

kelby_lake
11-15-2012, 08:43 AM
Margaret is horrible.

diana07
11-17-2012, 07:05 AM
Is Richard the hero of the play or he is just a villain? What' s your opinion about this? Why do you think Shakespeare put such a great emphasis upon him?

kelby_lake
11-17-2012, 11:02 AM
Is Richard the hero of the play or he is just a villain? What' s your opinion about this? Why do you think Shakespeare put such a great emphasis upon him?

I wouldn't call him a hero exactly but he has been wronged by society.

Charles Darnay
11-17-2012, 11:24 AM
Out of the seven monarchs that feature prominently in Shakespeare's histories (King John, Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI, Richard III, Henry VIII) - Richard III is the only one not protected by a noble shield. For all the faults that Shakespeare may give to King John, or Richard II, or Henry VI - they either have some nobility that shines through the faults, or they at least die nobly. Richard III is not meant to be seen as having any redemptive qualities. He is alluring in that Machiavelli meets Tamburlaine way, but we are not meant to pity him, or regard his death any form of tragedy.

Some argue that Henry VII (Richmond) is just too good in this play; that like Bolingbroke in Richard II, Richmond's purity is meant to be seen with some irony. However, considering the nature of Shakespeare's early plays, and the proximity of the end of the War of the Roses to Elizabeth - I don't think that this is this is the case.

Richard III may be an entertaining villain, but he is a villain.