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Thread: Richard III is evil man!

  1. #1
    isabella
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    Richard III is evil man!

    This is a really time consuming play! I guess it's worth the time and the effort if you thinkabout it. My essay i'm writing is going to become a classic, instantly! I just hope i can stay awake to finish it this time since this is my 2nd extension already. But you can't rush greatness! And killing kids is just wrong-o! Richard III was a nerd! I hope that midget creepy crawlers ate his face!

  2. #2
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    Is richard III really evil remember this is Shakespeare's take on historical events and that history is always written by the victors. In this case the Lancastrian's who had a vested interest in blackening Richard III. Had he not been killed at Bosworth then the Yorkist's would have won the Wars of the Roses and no doubt we would have a whole series of plays blackening the Lancastrians rather than the Yorkists.

    Nevertheless Shakespeare does a really brilliant Job in portraying evil in his character of Richard III. In some ways literature is more powerful than history I mean if shakespeare had not written his histories would we really be interested in the Wars of the Roses ?

  3. #3
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    Richard III was no better or worse than many a king of his time. He declared his nephews illegitimate and locked them up, after which they disappeared from view. If he killed them as he probably did, there was very little fuss made about it at the time. Child rulers led to an unstable kingdom as the various factions fought over them for power. Shakespeare though was writing for the grand-daughter of the man who invaded England, defeated Richard and took over the throne, marrying the dead princes sister and Richard's niece in the process. Henry was a man who was actually not, by birth, entitled to become King. But Shakespeare was hardly going to tell his grand-daughter, Queen Elizabeth, named after her granny, that, was he?

    Shakespeare, as most folk were then, was very non-PC, wasn't he? All that exaggeration of Richard's slightly raised shoulder to make him out to be a hunch-back because the outer man had to mirror the inner man. What a villain he was made to be:

    And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover
    To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
    I am determined to prove a villain.

  4. #4
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    He's a very similar character to Iago, I found. It's easy to label him, as Shakespeare does in Othello at least, as "a villain" but I think you have to understand the motives behind the other characters, as well as Richard himself.
    "Haunt me, take any form. Only, do not leave me in this abyss where I cannot find you."

  5. #5
    I think you cannot possibly see Richard as a 100% plain and typical devil. Shakespeare has put in a lot of efforts in portraying Richard as a charming Vice, an alluring villain.

    Of course, he should be detested because of the murderous deeds he has done, he has not only purged his close confidant Buckingham, but even the innocent princes.
    His cruelty undoubtedly is a major reason for people to fear, to hate him.

    Yet, his characterization doesn't just stop at that point.
    We don't just see him murdering, killing, incriminating all the time (though most of the time), through his monologues we get to learn more about his inner thoughts and how he makes fun of his own deformity and solitude: "Unless to spy my shadow in the sun/ And descant on mine own deformity" <- this is rather funny for a villain to tease himself in this way. Through his flirting with Anne, we learn more about his wit, his charm to women, that he is witty and eloquent enough to woo a woman whose betrothed has been just killed by him.

    He's an interesting character as he self-loves and self-loathes himself at the same time - complicated personalities.
    I won't deny that as the play progresses, he seems to be more and more obsessed with the throne and power and becomes less humorous than he is in the very beginning (can't quite recall his humor in Act 2~Act 4)
    But the nightmare scene really impresses me a lot. Recalling his claims: "Your eyes drop millstones, when fools' eyes fall tears" "But I am in so far in blood, that sin will pluck on sin/ Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye.", it's quite shocking to see him wake up from a nightmare (the ghosts' returning scene in Act 5 Scene 3). It's surprising to see him condemning himself for doing all these: "Alack, I love myself. Wherefore? For any good that I myself have done unto myself?... O no, alas, I rather hate myself/ For hateful deeds committed by myself."
    He even talks about how his "conscience" carries "several tongue" with each tongue containing "several tales", "condemning him for a villain". (very complicated...)
    but anyway, to be absolutely frank, I somehow pity him after reading such a scene. He for the first time appears to be so fragile, so pathetic, when he previously, most of the time, seems so confident and to be so full of himself, he's confident enough to laugh at his own deformity.

  6. #6
    Registered User mikecox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhler57 View Post
    history is always written by the victors. In this case the Lancastrian's who had a vested interest in blackening Richard III.
    In this case history was written; or rewritten, by Shakespeare and he had to put the spin on it that he did so as not to alienated Elizabeth.

    Richard didn't kill Edward or stab the Prince of Wales and Clarence was his own worse enemy; who Edward would never have pardoned. And Margret has only herself to blame for her state of affairs.

    If shakespeare had not written his histories would we really be interested in the Wars of the Roses
    Actually, I was interested in the Wars of Roses before Shakespeare; if I had started with Shakespeare I may never have become interested in English history

  7. #7
    Sailing the Void crusoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikecox View Post
    In this case history was written; or rewritten, by Shakespeare and he had to put the spin on it that he did so as not to alienated Elizabeth.

    Richard didn't kill Edward or stab the Prince of Wales and Clarence was his own worse enemy; who Edward would never have pardoned. And Margret has only herself to blame for her state of affairs.

    Actually, I was interested in the Wars of Roses before Shakespeare; if I had started with Shakespeare I may never have become interested in English history
    That's the Trouble...Since centuries armies of weak-minded Shakespeare-Followers take "The Maestro's" Play for an Account of History. People should
    try to find out before judging a historical figure,...or anybody else.

    Sorry, but when it comes to Richard III, I tend to get a bit "inflamed". I studied his Life and Times and that Shakespeare Play's
    just driving me up the Wall....but I'm calm...I'm calm.
    Last edited by crusoe; 07-28-2012 at 01:01 PM.
    Buy the Ticket, take the Ride...

  8. #8
    Registered User kelby_lake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Behemoth View Post
    He's a very similar character to Iago, I found. It's easy to label him, as Shakespeare does in Othello at least, as "a villain" but I think you have to understand the motives behind the other characters, as well as Richard himself.
    Agreed. Richard III looks like a monster so he decides to behave like one. To society, he cannot be anything but a monster. What motivation does he have to be good and loving when he is hated and reviled?

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