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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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