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Throught the entire play Richard is without a doubt a character of energy and charisma, but in comparison to others is a very debatable question. That is why I am going to try and look at both sides of the arguement fairly to see if Richard is a character of strong energy and charisma compared to the others or if, he infact, is not.
I think that the only person throught the play who see past Richards lies and deceit is his own mother (The Duchess) as in Act 2, scene 1-4 she talks about how unusually fast he grew as a child and how he was born with teeth. She goes on to talk about how he was mischevious (‘Parlous’) and sharp tongued (‘Shrewd’). There is also another character in Act 2, scene 4 who fears herself to be in danger from Richard duke of Gloucester. This character is Elizabeth. She realizes she is in great peril when her son (Grey) and her brother (Rivers) are both arrested. Elizabeth says:
“Come, come, my boy, we will to sanctuary. Madam, farewell.” Elizabeth decides to flee, and go into hiding because she fears for her life from Richard. Elizabeth at this point I don’t think knows exactly what Richards up too, but she does know Richard will come after her aswell. This is quite an unpredictable event as she does not wait around and fall into Richards evil plot. So i would say that she showed a knowledge and used initiative by pre-determining Richards plans for her, this shows that she is quite energetic. I would definetly say that she doesn’t seem to be dull or predictable.
A character that doesn’t see what Richard has planned is Lord Hastings for in Act 3 scene 2 all the way to Act 3 scene 4 Hastings misses all the signs that almost blatantly show that Richard intends to kill him. This does not make him predictable or dull, just easily fooled. For example in Act 3 scene 2 Lord Stanley sends a messenger to Hastings telling him his dream was ‘The boar razed off his helm’ in other words Lord Stanley was convinced that Hastings was in great danger of Richard, but Hastings calmy says: “To fly the boar before the boar pursues Were to incense the boar to follow us And make pusuit were he did not mean to chase”.
What Hastings is trying to says is that Stanley is just being paranoid and that it was just a simple dream, he says if they were to flee from Richard for fear of death and Richard didn’t want to kill Hastings then it would cause him to find him and kill him and he may not have wanted to do such a thing in the first place. This is dramatic irony because what Hastings says is the complete opposite to Richards intentions for him, Hastings thinks if he would flee, Richard would kill him but infact Richard lures him and then kills him. Hastings is trying to think with some logic here and what he is saying does make sense, but from here on he becomes more and more ignorant to other signs he recieves, truly convinced that Richard means no harm to him.
That was the first sign for Hastings, and because he is so predictable himself he seems to think that everyone else is too. For example he thinks he has Richard all figured out by saying: “Can lesser he hide his love or hate, than he, For but his face straight shall you know his heart” He assumes that Richard cannot hide his true feelings and these are expressed, he doesnt belive he can almost be two people, because one Richard appears to be good, faithful and loyal whilst the real Richard is lying, cheating and decietful.
If you were to compare both Hastings to Elizabeth you would see an etirely different contrast between them both. Elizabeth clearly sees herself in great danger and goes into hiding which is the opposite to what Hastings did, he was even lured by Richard into his own death. I personally belive Hastings wasn’t as stupid as he seemed to be when it came to knowing Richard, I belive he was in denial that Richards intentions for him were death, I am sure Hastings wanted to belive that this wasn’t true and that is why whenever a sign showed for him he dismissed it quickly without a second thought, so if this was true Hastings may be an energetic character, but in a completely opposite way. He trys to butter up Richard in possibly a faint attempt for Richard to reconsider killing Hastings, he does this by saying:
“I thank his grace, I know he loves me well” There are some characters in the play who can almost tell that Richard is lying and decietful, for example the two young princes. Richard trys to convince the boys that his uncles were arrested because they were evil but infact they deny what Richard says and they say they know that there good people.
Other characters in this play don’t really show much charisma, or at least not as much as Richard. This again doesn’t mean they lack charismatic and energetic influences, i think its because Richard seems almost the most unlikely person who would ever betray people due to the fact he is a social outcast and is deformed a little. Im sure they fell for Richards false charm because of the fact he appears harmless and he can play both good and evil so well, I think most people would belive how he acted towards them.
There is also another character who I myself think made Richard seem predictable and that was Lord Buckingham. For when Richard asks him to kill the two princes up in the tower he pushs Buckingham to his limit and Buckingham refuses to do it. I thought that Richard should have possibly seen this coming as everyone has there limits and Richard found Buckinghams limits. Another reason for Buckingham being an extra-ordinary character is because I feel he out-wits Richard due to the fact that I don’t think Buckingham really wants to help Richard, I think he knew what Richard was up to and Buckingham thought it would be safer to help Richard or he would almost certainly get killed, and now that Richard has the throne Buckingham possibly feels theres no real threat from Richard anymore because he has the thone now.
There are many characters in this play and personally all of them how there own unique energetic spirit, it’s not because they are dull and predictable its simply because Richard is a flatterer, and he was the most unlikely person to try and take the throne due to his deforment. The other characters were all to busy worrying about other people betraying them they hardly had time to notice Richards evil plots. To summarise, I belive there are equal arguements to say Richard is more charismatic and energetic than the other characters. There are some who are predictable and others who I feel out-master Richards charisma. So all in all, there are some chracters who dull, some who match Richards charisma and others who top it.