Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Richard III: Power of Language and Own Villainy
Deformed in ashes and twisted in mind, Richard is in any way the dominant character of the play, to the extent that he is both the plays protagonist and major villain. He is selfish, evil, corrupt, sadistic, and manipulative. His intelligence, governmental brilliance, and dazzling practise of quarrel keeps the audience fascinated and his subjects and rivals under his control. At the beginning of the play, it is made clear to the audience that Richard has no justification for seizing the throne.This is because England is obviously not oppressed or subject to tyranny as the lengthy civil war has just ended, and Richards oldest brother, King Edward IV, now sits on the throne. Richard himself, states that All the clouds that loured upon our house (1. 1, 3), the house of York, has been dispelled by the son of York (1. 1, 2), King Edward IV. However, Richard intends to upset the kingdom by seizing power for himself. He says that since I cannot prove a lover to entertain these fair ar ticulate days, I am determined to prove a villain (1. , 28).This simply means that since Richard was not made to be a lover, he has no use for peace, and will happily destroy peace with his crimes. This shows Richards unabashed enjoyment of his own abhorrence as he can so blithely lurch aside all(prenominal) of the things that the rest of humanity cherishes. Richard III is an intense exploration of the psychology of evil, and that exploration is centred on the workings of Richards mind and the methods he uses to manipulate, control, and shock others for his own gain.Perhaps more than any other play by Shakespeare, the audience of Richard III work throughs a complex, indefinite, and highly erratic relationship with the main character. Richard is understandably a villain as he declares outright in his very first speech that he intends to stop at nothing to achieve his last goal of becoming king. However, despite his open allegiance to evil, he has such a charismatic and fascina ting personality that, for much of the play, we are likely to see with him, or are at least impressed by him.In this way, our relationship with Richard reflects the other characters relationships with him, conveying a powerful sense of the force of his personality. thus far characters such as Lady Anne, who have an explicit knowledge of his wickedness, overlook his dishonesty and violent behaviour and allow themselves to be seduced by his brilliant wordplay, his estimable argumentation, and his relentless pursuit of his selfish desires. Richards long, fascinating soliloquys, in which he outlines his plans and gleefully confesses all his evil thoughts, are central to the audiences experience of Richard.Shakespeare uses these soliloquys brilliantly to control the audiences impression of Richard, enabling this manipulative protagonist to work his charm on the audience. In Act I, scene i, for example, Richard offers a pretext for his villainy towards others by pointing out that he is unloved, and that he is unloved because of his physical deformity. Richard himself is brutally honest about his appearance. He admits to being imperfectly cause and blames premature birth for his condition. He knows that he is not shaped for sportive tricks (1. 1, 14) and while others delight in an amorous looking glass (1. , 14), his misshapen body creates a shadow in the sun (1. 1, 26) that alienates him from others.Hence, Lady Anne calls Richard a lump of foul deformity (1. 2, 57) in Act I, scene ii. This proves that Richards claim not only makes the other characters of the play seem like the villains for punishing him for his appearance, but also makes it easy for the audience to sympathize with Richard during the first scenes of the play and even foretaste that he will succeed despite his obvious villainy. It quickly becomes apparent, however, that Richard simply uses his deformity as a tool to gain the sympathy of others, including the audience.This is already noted in his very first speech as Richard seems to take a deliberate perverse delight in his outward shape. He chooses words such as, cheated, deformed, unfinished, half made up, dogs bark at him as he passes by because of his deformity to describe himself. Richards unabashed villainy is a much more natural part of his character than simple bitterness about his ugly body. Nevertheless, he still manages to use speech to come after our trust, and he repeats this throughout his struggle to be crowned king.An interesting secondary theme of Richard III is the power of language, or the importance of language in achieving political power. Language may not always be a necessary instrument of power, but for Richard, it is a crucial weapon. As we have seen, it is with his extraordinary skills with words that allows him to ridicule, insult, taunt and deceive all who stand in his way to power. Richards skill with language and argument is what enables him to woo Lady Anne, have Clarence thrown in prison a nd blame the king for Clarences death, all at very little risk to himself.In conclusion, I feel Richard IIIs unabashed enjoyment of both the power of language and his own villainy makes him a character worthy of both respect and admiration, and therefore I completely keep back with this statement. This is because Richards unabashed power of language shows off the ingenious wit and intellectual cleverness of the character, actor and playwright, while his own villainy makes the play all the more fascinating and entertaining as his heinous acts become more chilling.