Impressions of Richard Essay
Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website!
There are many discrepancies between the real Richard III the play was based on ? and the fictitious character created by Shakespeare. These discrepancies were created for several reasons: His deformity was played up in order to invoke disgust and to portray his lack of morals and evil spirit in a physical form, also Shakespeare had to make Richard look bad to please the Queen Elizabeth I as she was from an opposing family to Richard’s. Also the history sources, which Shakespeare relied on to provide a basis of a character, were doctored in order to make the present monarchy look good.
Another, perhaps more prominent reason for the particular character traits Shakespeare took was that he wanted to create an interesting central character which would interest the audience into watching the whole of the play. His choice of characteristics for Richard would also invoke a certain level of sympathy from a modern day audience due to his involuntary exclusion from society which caused him to be angry and vengeful. In truth he was fair and incorruptible he increased the freedom of the common people.
In contrast the play portrayed a ruthless, devious, merciless child-killer who was desperate for power, a typical Machiavellian character. The opening soliloquy of Richard’s put him and the audience closer together than any of the characters as they’re the only people he takes his mask off for. This means they have a certain oneness with Richard during the play. Due to this closeness they are allowed to know vaguely what Richard will do but they don’t know the intimate details or the how. He explains his deep feelings about his involuntary isolation.
He feels hideously ugly and because of this no one will want to have sex or any type of relationship with him. In lines 1 – 13 he says how jealous of society and of the beautiful people he is by talking of how good is this “glorious summer” of peace is in a sarcastic manner. His sarcasm only comes across as the soliloquy progresses when he talks of his bitterness towards society without being tainted by cynicism or any other form of disdain. The soliloquy is a summation of Richard’s feelings, which then accounts for his actions later on.
Richard feels that the world, like him, is “scarce half made up”. He resents the fact that he is not accepted. The negative words he uses to describe himself, “deformed, unfinish’d” “rudely stamp’d” says a lot about his estimation of himself. He is ashamed of his appearance and because he “cannot prove a lover” he is “determin’d to prove a villain. ” This is also highlights his inferiority complex as he feels he has to prove something to himself and the audience. In short he is saying: this is how I feel and this is what I am going to do about it.