I will be talking about how Shakespeare has shown Richard to be a true machiavel. I will do this by focussing on I.1, I.2, III.7 AND V.3. I will be examining the features of language, staging and presentation. A machiavel is villainous stock characters, who are practised liars (artful in their deception). This brings delight in their own evil from being a villain. Like Richard III they are cruel political opportunists. Machiavellians also disguise their true colours to stop people finding out how they really are.
Richard had to be so evil because he was an enemy of the house of Tudor. He goes through the Tudor family by killing and plotting against them. I will also look at how Richard uses language to persuade people to get his own way and how staging was very limited in Elizabethan times. Shakespeare’s theatres had very little scenery, very few props as well. The language used by Shakespeare was very poetic he used a lot of puns and metaphors for e.
g. ” In the deep bosom of the ocean buried”. The basic plot line of Richard III is about a 15th century nobleman who murders his way to the throne in a true machiavellian way stopping anyone that gets in his way,
A soliloquy is a dramatic or literary form of discourse in which a character talks to him or herself or reveals his or her thoughts without addressing a listener. Shakespeare sets up Richards’s character in the opening soliloquy by that the poetry is written in Blank verse with ten syllables unrhymed lines. He expresses his thoughts out aloud. Richard is totally explicit at all times and does not try and hide his evil nature like a machiavel. The effect this would have on the audience is how evil and how devious Richard is being a self seeking power hungry maniac willing to sacrifice everything to get his own way.
Shakespeare shows other characteristics in Act 1 scene 1 in relation to Clarence by lying and manipulating Clarence. He sets out to set Edward IV and Clarence against each other. Richard lies to Clarence by saying ” We are not safe Clarence we are not safe “. This is all a lie . Richard manipulates Clarence to his own favour by being very nice to him. In this scene Shakespeare’s language features are used very wisely to get the message across by using Puns. A Pun is a word or phrase with a double meaning. The effect a double meaning will have on the audience is confusion about what Shakespeare is trying to say through Richard whether he means one thing or the other.
Language features used in Act 1 Scene 2 shows that language may not always be a necessary instrument of power, but for Richard, it is a crucial weapon. His extraordinary skill with words enables him to manipulate, confuse, and control those around him. Richards skill with language and argument is what enables him to woo Lady Ann. Shakespeare creates Richards machiavellian spirit by showing 2 sides of him the one side showing a kind and helpful man. The other side a dark political opportunists. The topic of dissembling and disguising ones true identity amounts to an obsession.
The effect of rhyming couplets at the end of Act 1 Scene 2. It differs from the rest of the scene by when they talk rhyming couplets are used to manipulate someone it adds an effect of finality, also when they are used it tells the audience that is the end of the scene for example where it says on lines 267 and 268 glass and pass are used at the end of the lines. Shakespeare stages Act 3 Scene 7 to suggests Richards political opportunism by talking about bastardisation of his nephews to Buckingham. The citizens didn’t react to this news and leads to a discussion. Furthering the plot this leads to their dastardly plan where Richard takes advantage of Edward. Showing Richards true colours of his cruel machiavellian ways and people start taking sides
Richard sets the scene to give himself the advantage by dressing up as a holy man to get to add appear as a kind person who cares about his nephews but is really playing the part of a machiavellian e.g. the disguise talking about his nephews issues making Richard feel bad but in fact it makes him seem compassionate which makes him look good. This relates to duplicity of Richards persona and the Elizabethan obsession by Richard disguises to act supportive towards everyone to trick people to think he is there for the well being of the Prince. But in actual fact he is hiding his true colours and feelings, Upon doing this he gains respect from people who haven’t a clue what he really is up to. This relates to the Elizabethan obsession by they used to love a character who were in disguise in relation to Richard he has 2 identities good and bad one making the play more interesting for Elizabethan people.
In V.3 rhetorical figures are used to explore hierarchy making Richard use rhetorical figures by using the art of a machiavellian. To move from propaganda to a machiavellian he is made a bigger and more cruel machiavellian which is more dastardly. He was labelled to of killed the princes. The use of language tells us how devious Richard is how he doesn’t care about others but himself getting what he wants and that is the throne. In doing this Richard is joyful in a true machiavel way. In comparison with God this would upset him by the Natural order
I have learned that Shakespeare can be persuasive with the use of language and can create a very intense atmosphere amongst the characters. Take the role of Richard he transformed in to, 2 separate people showing 2 different sides. Using puns helped create an effect as well for example when Richard admitted to Anne that he killed Henry, he tries to say this as sincere as possible and telling her it was her beauty that provoked him to do such a thing. Trying to make Anne feel in control when really he is using his true Machiavellian ways by lying to Anne.
The limits of the Elizabethan stage had caused more problems fro Shakespeare this meant he had to be more creative and express as much as possible in language and movement to create the right mood. Very few props meant he had to think of other ideas fro example if blood came out of a character instead of using actual blood he had to be creative and think of other ideas he could use a bright colour clothe to create the same image but in a different way. The play is still relevant today and the message behind the play is about a man who is willing to kill anyone who gets in his way to get what he wants and in some cases today is true. For example how people trick one another to get their own way is kind of like what Richard done turning his back on the Tudor family to get to the throne.
In my opinion Richard is a true machiavel and is a very good one the way he is a sneaky, evil and conniving political opportunists is what he did best. Lying to everyone to get his own way not giving any hints of his quest to become king. He did not once feel the least bit of sorrow for what he done but was delighted in his own wickedness and it didn’t matter if he hurt anyone as long as Richard got his own way was all that mattered to him. He was also disguised so people thought differently of him for example when he and Buckingham create the right effect by Richard appearing as a holy men with a Bible in hand. Also he disguises himself as being a good General. By doing all of this Richard has created the right appearance and right image in my mind for being a extraordinary machiavellian.