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

What do we learn of the motivations & characters of both Richard & Clarence in Act I, scenes III & IV ?

Extracts from this document...


What do we learn of the motivations & characters of both Richard & Clarence in Act I, scenes III & IV ? We first start to unravel the complex web of deceit which Richard has woven over the eyes of the characters in the play in Act I, Scene III, Richard addresses the characters, onstage and offstage in an oblique and brash manner, "They do me wrong. and I will not endure it!", (line 44). Here Richard was referring to the people in court or general public slandering him and spreading rumour, however his description of them is non specific, rather than addressing the people of court by title, his answer is rather generic or anonymous, Richard also repeats this when Lord Rivers interrupts him to defend Queen Elizabeth, only addressing her as "She", thrice consecutively; we are well aware within Elizabethan Society that royalty was given the highest respect, and within the actual tradition of aristocracy, several strict social codes were enforced, Richard's opposition to these rules, shows great disrespect towards the Queen. Although such behaviour from Richard is not executed in a seemingly random fashion, Richard's confidence and dare to oppose these strict rules reinforces the belief that Richard is again executing an intricate plan, further onwards the pace of the script is rapid, and Richard fires off several rhetoric questions which are aimed at the Queen and people defending her (lines 55-60), in order ...read more.


and later on in the play, we see that these curses seemed to be prophecies, until the very near of the scene, the dialogue is simply exchange of patience and intolerance, Richard holds his stance very patiently, and almost disproves Queen Margaret's accusations by making her anger seem on the borderline of insanity. He provokes her by interrupting her, (line 234), and she reacts very aggressively, nevertheless this places Richard on a higher position since Queen Margaret had made herself a target of everyone earlier. Richard sees himself to be king, all his actions are derived from the passion of wanting power, his expectation is for other people to follow under his rule, although more irony is shown as, we see, not only is Richard hardly a character fit for King, but other people, such as Queen Margaret see through his plan, Richard suddenly does not seem as invincible as he previously was perceived to be, and this contrast creates the dramatic conflict in the play, Richard thinks he will be successful, but early signs of weakness in the plan serve as a dramatic irony to build a foundation for the audience to believe that Richard may not be successful in the end. At the end of the scene, we hear Richard's soliloquy, this intensifies the evil of Richard's character, the majority of Richard's evil or motivations was simply implied through his relationships with the other characters, a ...read more.


From the very beginning and throughout, we have seen much psychological warfare and negativity, Clarence serves as "odd one out" within the midst of such chaos. He attracts the audiences empathy, and also provides yet another reason for the audience to loathe Richard, more so when the murderers arrive and kill Clarence (line 270 onwards), this marks another milestone in Richard's immorality in the race for power. Ultimately, the characters of Richard and Clarence are not masterfully complex, simply since they are incarnations the earth's oldest dichotomy : Good and Evil, and it was the very fierce riot of Evil which ran through the real society that reflects itself in the Play. The contempt towards women, and the actual War of the Roses are all witnesses to this, what Shakespeare does is, present them in a real, tangible form for the society to witness, which is of course Drama and Playwrite. The fictional story of Richard the III present real issues, however the text of the script is what Shakespeare created to attempt to unweave the reality back into disassociated concepts. The text gives life to Richard the III, who ironically has no regard for life except that of his own, its through this work in the first scene's that Richard had set the foundations for his evil plan, however once you write the beginning, the ending almost writes itself, Richard's plan is not immaculate, and just in the real life how the War of the Roses perished, Richard is set for his own doomed ending too. ...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 Richard II 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 Richard II essays

  1. How does Shakespeare portray the character of Richard?

    Yet blessing on his heart that gives it me! For 'tis a sign of love; and love to Richard is a strange brooch in this all-hating world," Shakespeare shows that Richard has lost all love for himself, he shows love for the new king but is pained because he has been given this down-heartedness by the new king.

  2. Write about the dramatic methods used by Shakespeare to portray the character of Queen ...

    This aspect of Isabel's character highlights her most important contribution to the play; through her Shakespeare adds depth to Richard's character. The use of "ill-erected" and "flint" highlight the language of doom and decay and underline Shakespeare's desire to portray Isabel's despair at her husband's fate and the effect it will consequently have on her.

  1. Power and Betrayal in Shakespears Power and Betrayal.

    And, noble uncle, I beseech your grace; Look on my wrongs with and indifferent eye. You are my father, for methinks in you I see old Gaunt alive. O then, my father, Will you permit that I shall stand condemned A wandering vagabond, my rights and royalties Plucked from my arms perforce and given away To upstart unthrifts?...

  2. The Tragedy of King Richard the second - In what ways do the speeches ...

    'Divine Rights of Kings: "For Mowbray and I are like two men That vow on a long a weary pilgrimage." This simile might be a little ironic, as Richard is about to throw down his 'warder' and banish them both and they will be forced to go on a real journey.

  1. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Kingship in Richard II

    Ideas about blood and England's condition at the time of Richard's rule dominate the story. In Act II for example, Northumberland refers to the dead Gaunt as "a royal prince...of noble blood". As before in Richard's speech at the beginning of the play, Shakespeare controls the assonant "o" sounds to


    In reality, Richard's neurotic self-absorption, his firm belief in his own divinity, his arrogance, incompetence and unpopularity are the real causes of his downfall. Richard denies the laws of succession, upon which his own claim to kingship depends, by seizing the property that belongs to Bolingbroke.

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