Richard here talks of a forthcoming golden era full of glory and hope. Whilst speaking in public, Richard uses this opportunity to defend him from being accused in future events. By praising the running of the country nobody would suspect him of becoming a family murderer. Again, in private Richard reveals his true feelings and again reveals to the audience future plots. “I am determined to prove a villain and hate the idle pleasures of these days. Plots I have laid, inductions dangerous.” (Act 1 scene 1.Lines 30 +32)
When speaking concealed away from the public, Richard provides insight into future events. Although it may appear that the war is over the royal family is about to confront another battle in the eyes of Richard. It is through what is said in private that Richard sheds light on future plots and events and to an extent he draws a relationship with the audience because of this. The final area in which I will explore appearance and reality will be through the manipulation of religion. Richard of Gloucester is not the only character in the play to use appearance and reality as his two “partners in crime” prove. Catesby and Buckingham use religion as a weapon of disguising for Richards true personality and intentions.
” He is within, with two right reverend fathers, divinely bent to meditation ….. To draw him from his holy exercise.” (Act 3 scene 7.Line 60 + 61) Buckingham endeavors to make Richard appear holy and innocent by portraying him as a devout, holy and religious man. By this point in the play we know that Richard’s life is not based on serving god but rather serving his own desires. His allies continue to do their utmost to mask his evil traits in front of the politicians. “This prince is not an Edward. He is not lulling on a lewd love-bed, but on his knees at meditation.”(Act 3 scene 7.Line 70-71)
Again, religion is manipulated to give a false identification of Richard. Their aim is to get Richard to become king and attain ruler ship thinking that they may get something in return. Buckingham’s language reveals that he; Catesby and Richard are play acting. “Two props of virtue for a Christian prince ….. and see a book of prayer in his hand.” (Act 3 scene 7.Line 95+96) Buckingham makes it apparent that this is a play within a play and uses the church and the word of god as a prop to make Richard look convincing on stage. Richard also does his part in covering up his true personality.
“I do beseech your grace to pardon me, who, earnest in the service of my god.” (Line 104-105) Richard once again stresses how devoted he is to god when really he is only devoted to getting himself raised to a godly figure in the form of king. Shakespeare reveals yet another plane to Richard’s ever- changing character through the manipulation of religion as we not only see a deceitful interpretator, a cold-blooded murderer but also a manipulative man. He has no regard for family, women or even god and this manifests the extent that he is willing to go to get what he wants. Shakespeare provides us with another peek into future events through the manipulation of Richard.
“Come, let us to our holy work again.”(Act 3 scene 7.Line 245) This “holy” work will in fact not be holy but will rather entail unholy and irreligious dealings. The work will contain further plotting and this braces the audience for further manipulation. This device measures the extent to which Richard will go to change his character. It also reveals that Richard isn’t the only character that utilizes appearance and reality in the play and this reflects the amount of manipulation contained within the play.
Appearance and reality is a device that Shakespeare cleverly uses to keep the character Richard of Gloucester running throughout the play. It revitalizes his character and interest in him is always stimulated because of this. To an extent, Richard uses appearance and reality as a stepping stool for further dealings in the future. Richard, the anti-hero, uses his physical appearance as a driving force for evil traits and deceive4s others into thinking that it makes him weaker. His contrasting treatment of women perfectly illustrates how well he can adjust roles when required. He is the master of deception as his opening soliloquy proves.
It is what is said in private that reveals to the audience what Richard’s true intentions are and it is what is said in public that reflect lies. Shakespeare makes this link early on so that Richards changing won’t fool the audience. Shakespeare mirrors appearance and reality through the manipulation of religion to show the extent that Richard will go to obtain what he requires. Appearance and reality is important because it shows that Richard is a character of dual interpretations and Shakespeare makes sure Richard uses it continually so that his character continues to fuel interest for the audience. Appearance and reality is a vital tool in the play as it not only plays a huge part in shaping events in the play but it also reveals future events that are to take place.