• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Richard III is a study in evil." Discuss Richard's role as a tragic hero.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked ?RICHARD III IS A STUDY IN EVIL? DISCUSS RICHARD?S ROLE AS A TRAGIC HERO Aristotle, a greek philosopher, claimed that tragedy was a depiction of the downfall of a noble person who has desirable qualities, through a combination of hubris, fate and the will of Gods. This is the basis for the argument of Richard?s role as a tragic hero. Many of Shakespeare?s plays include a tragic hero. One example is Macbeth. Macbeth fits with Aristotle?s idea of a tragic hero as he was a noble person; he came from a rich family. Similar to Richard who also belongs to an aristocrat family ? he was in the beginning the Duke of Gloucester and then later became King Richard III. So like Macbeth, Richard could be a tragic hero. He does not have any desirable qualities. He is represented as being witty and charismatic. He is called the ?formal Vice? and a quality of the Vice figure is wit and cruel humour. A popular character during the period in which Shakespeare was writing. The Vice had its origins in the morality plays of the sixteenth century, where medieval devils, who tempted mankind, were repulsive and dangerous, but also comic. ...read more.

Middle

At the end after the appearance of the ghosts, Richard realises that ?no creature loves? him but even now when he is afraid, the villain remains on the course he set himself when he began plotting at the start of the play. He recognises his evil, acknowledges the power of his conscience, but he is not really a changed man at the end of this speech. His failure to make peace with God shows us that the villain must be physically defeated, as he has now been defeated, mentally, by a dream. Richard therefore, due to the fact that his downfall was willed by Gods, cannot be a tragic hero. It is also said that a tragic hero should have a flaw or make some mistake (hamartia) and must therefore undergo a change in fortune. Macbeth also had a flaw ? his greediness. Similar to this, it could be argued that Richard also has a flaw. Richard?s character is emphasised by his evil nature; he even admits to this by stating ?I am a villain?. The personal pronoun ?I? linked with the proper noun ?villain? clearly shows that he recognises his evil nature. ...read more.

Conclusion

The audience also feel fear in the play as we realise that Richard was born into a family where his actions were perhaps accepted. But on the other hand, he ultimately does not learn anything from it. Despite the acceptance of the fact that he is ?a murderer,? it is difficult to think that he has received any punishment for his sins. Tragic heroes would often, at the end of the play, achieve some revelation or recognition (anagnorisis) about the human condition. He should recognise his mistake, grow through that and feel terrible remorse for it. But for Richard, he does not feel any remorse for his actions and learns no moral lesson and continues his behaviour the way it is. Shakespearean characters like Othello and Lear undergo extreme torment, and learn the truth about themselves before they meet tragic ends. Richard knows himself too well. He is not a good man who just makes a fatal error of judgement. He is a self-confessed villain. He learns nothing and comes to no new understanding about himself, the nature of humanity or the world in which he lives. He dies unrepentant. So to conclude, he is not a tragic hero like other Shakespearean characters like Lear, Othello or Macbeth. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other works section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other works essays

  1. Significance of soliloquies and asides in Richard III with reference to Richard's character

    His attitude here marks a shift in his perception of himself as he had mentioned that he was not meant for sportive tricks in his opening soliloquy. However, now he has had a confidence boost due to the success with Lady Anne and says" I'll be at charges for a looking glass/And entertain a score or two of tailor" (I.ii.262-263).

  2. The contrast between Hotspur and Hal is the main theme in Henry IV part ...

    underlining the desperate circumstance by his question "is it a time to jest and dally now". Hal has realized when play must stop and serious life begin, but Falstaff has not. A number of times during the play Hal blames Falstaff of corrupting him but it is the other way round.

  1. To what extent does the tragedy of Titus Andronicus unfold from the protagonist and ...

    Titus' support then leads Saturninus to choose Lavinia as his future empress. In the Hopkins interpretation of the play we see Bassianus and Lavinia together, and so immediately we know of Titus' awareness of their relationship, Titus' hesitance leads to the impression that he would object to the arrangement however

  2. In his opening soliloquy, the true nature of Richards character is revealed, his villainy ...

    On the other hand, Pacino does not dress the like; opting to instead don costumes that make him appear plain and quite common. As such, it is evident that Pacino is attempting to instil a sense of realism to the interpretation of Richard - perhaps, the fact that apart from the riches and status, he is just an ordinary man.

  1. The Dramatic Significance of Act 3.4 of Richard III

    For example, when Hastings says "The tender love I bear your grace, my lord", he exaggerates by the using of the word "tender" to describe his love and the fact that he places "my lord" at the end of the sentence, causing a pause in the line, suggests the lack of sincerity in his words.

  2. How Richard III's Battle speech is presented in the film adaptations of Olivier and ...

    We see Richard, after this extract passage, obsessed with his own self-preservation, as indicated by his cry of "[a] horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!". Richard clearly reveals his priorities. He would trade everything for a horse on which to improve his chances of surviving the battle rather

  1. Does Coriolanus make mistakes or errors in judgement that lead to his downfall? If ...

    To call Coriolanus obeying his mothers orders a mistake would be inaccurate as he is predisposed and psychologically unable to refuse her demands. It is fair to say that Coriolanus relentlessly seeking for her approbation aids in his downfall.

  2. Write a dramatic monologue in the style of Aaron reflecting on the motivation for ...

    but does not tell us any specific reason why apart from the war against the Goths and Rome suggests his actions are all evil. When it comes down to children he seems to have an interesting contrast to parenthood compared to Titus.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work