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The play Richard III shows power, greed and ambition and how doing these things can effect other people and change how you act and think. In the world today someone who is like Richard in the way that he is greedy and power hungry is Saddam Hussein. The whole play shows how Richard is ambitious, greedy and power hungry. At the start of the play he is ambitious because he has set himself a task to become king. This shows that he is greedy because he is not happy with what position he is at that moment and wants more power. The way in which he does this is by killing anyone who could prevent him from becoming king.
I think Shakespeare may have wanted to show that having ambition, power and a little greed is ok but if you lose your head and want more and more power making you become more greedy it could result in not just other people getting hurt but you getting hurt in the end as well. Like in the end of the play Richard ends up dying as a result of his extreme amount of power and greed. I think he wanted the audience to admire him for his cleverness in his schemes and the way he has organised everything.
In some points the audience do admire him for his cleverness but straight after he has brought the audience to his side he does something extremely viscous and evil that the audience off liking him. People who are like Richard always end up getting paid back for all their wrong doings, well in some cases any way. Like Adolf Hitler who ended up dying because of all the bad things he had done i.e. WWII. So what Shakespeare is saying is, all bad you do to others you will get back to you.
The opening speech that Richard says is to the crowd is directly at them and makes you think he’s a nice person because he makes a few funny comments which makes the crowd laugh and grow to like him. This also makes the audience watching the film like Richard too because he seems like a nice person, but when he walks into the toilets away from the crowd he talks at the audience saying that he’s ugly, which makes the audience feel sorry for Richard.
Straight after he says this he tells you about a plan he’s made. First of all you admire him for being ambitious but long after when you find out what his plan will involve, i.e. killing many people who could prevent him from becoming king, you start to really dislike him and wonder how on earth you liked him in the first place. He says, “I am determined to prove a villain and hate the idle pleasures of the day,” meaning that basically Richard is going to become evil and never have pleasure. This little extract of something that Richard says shows him to be very evil in the fact that he wants to become hated.
Another thing Richard says is “Plots have I laid, induction’s dangerous” which means that Richard is plotting some dangerous schemes, and is another reason why people watching the film would turn their nose up at Richard. The audiences overall impression of Richard is that he is a very ambitious man but his ambition will lead to murders being committed so therefore they would think he is a very sly and wicked man. Also the audience would think that Richard is two-faced because first of all he is very nice to Lady Ann and wants her to marry him, but when he has done this he then wants her to be killed.
Shakespeare makes you both admire and hate Richard. For example, you would hate Richard in scene one when he talks to you about what evil things he has planned. Where as in Act one Scene two you grow to admire him again because of the way he flatters and wins over Lady Ann with words. He says things like “Sweet saint” and “Divine perfection of a woman” meaning he thinks she is perfect. But when Richard has said these flattering comments to Lady Ann, she immediately repels him by saying insults like “Diffused infection of a man” meaning that she thinks he is a grotty, disgusting and horrible man and “Thou unfit for any place but hell” which means that Lady Ann thinks that the only place that Richard could possibly live in is hell. Despite all these insults she throws at Richard he still wins her over with his flattering comments.
He eventually marries Ann after having killed her husband and father, which she knew he had done. Richard should be admired for his cleverness for the way he won over Lady Ann and set up his schemes, never the less he shouldn’t be praised too much because he is still an evil and devious man who has committed murders. Also towards the end of Act One Scene Two he starts to get cocky after winning over Lady Ann and says some evil comments like “Was ever woman in this humour won? I’ll have her; but I will not keep her long” this is saying that he will marry Lady Ann but after a little while he will kill her. This will give the audience a very nasty image of Richard because of his evil antics.
Act One Scene Three is where Queen Margaret curses all the people she hates. She says horrible remarks like “God, I pray him, that none of you may live your natural age” which means that she is saying that all the people she hates she doesn’t want to live a long life, and another quotation is “Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou livest, and take deep traitors for thy dearest friends” which means that she wants all the people she hates to die so they can’t hurt her friends.
Richard is one of the people Queen Margaret hated so therefore she cursed him. When she curses Richard she says to him “No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine, Unless it be whilst a tormenting dream, affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils!” This curse actually comes true and like the quotation says Richard has a terrifying dream making him panic and sweat. What happens in the dream is ghosts surround Richard and curse him saying “despair and die!” over and over again terrifying Richard through the night. But the scene with Richards terrifying dream was not included in the film.