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'Dangerously alluring', to what extent is this an accurate estimation of Richards Character?

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Introduction

'Dangerously alluring', to what extent is this an accurate estimation of Richards Character? Richard III. One of the most complex characters in Shakespeare's various plays. Psychologically, he is an enigmatic individual, who possesses a number of contradictory characteristics, which qualify him as a fantastic villain. He is a man so determined to succeed, that he can almost be perceived as slightly insane. His three dimensional character means that there is a side of him that will appeal to the audience, and absorbs the viewer into his world of madness, irony, and mayhem. There is no other suitable way to characterise Richard, apart from 'Dangerously alluring', as I will prove in a psychosomatic analysis of Richard in the play 'King Richard III'. One of Richard's most dangerously alluring characteristics is his manipulative speech. He is undoubtedly the most articulate character in the whole of the play, making him dangerous to encounter. He proves, throughout the play, that, with the aid of his 'honey words', he can free himself from any situations that may jeopardise, his plot and thus his path to the throne. One of the most improbable situations, which Richard's verbal dexterity allows him to escape, is his confrontation with Anne (Act I Scene III), at the funeral of her late husband Edward Prince of Wales, who died at the hands of Richard following the Battle of Tewkesbury. Of course Anne feels pure hate towards Richard because of the pain he has inflicted upon her and her family. In the beginning of their encounter her revulsion towards Richard is evident in the tone of her speech; 'Foul devil, for God's sake hence, and trouble us not...' It is quite clear that Anne holds, in her heart, a passionate hatred towards Richard, as he ruined her family. Other examples of her abhorrence of Richard are the names, to which she refers to him with, '...infection of a man' 'Foul devil...' ...read more.

Middle

When he delivered speeches he commanded the attention of the whole room and enthralled his audience, playing the role of inspirational leader. This is true of Richard. Both he and Hitler share the same amazing determination. Richard shows this in his speech before the battle which provides the closing scene for the play. He uses vigorous words to arouse his army. Bustle, features twice in his oration, 'Come, bustle, bustle!' In the first sentence he sets the tone for the whole speech, the speech goes on to become dynamic and of many dimensions. It moulds Richard's army's mind to think of the enemy as, '...A sort of vagabonds, rascals, and runaways...' It is full of hateful words to encourage the army to crush their enemy. His choice of words reflects his dynamic character. In contrast, Richmond, the opposing side in the war, makes a speech full of beauty, and religious references, 'Yet remember this: God and our good cause, fight upon our side...' Richmond concentrates on the positive purpose behind his invasion, and why his army will win. Richard is more negative and provides a speech full of hateful images, providing reasons as to why Richmond needs to be annihilated. Even though Richards's speech is somewhat less honourable it is still rousing all the same. His dynamic language proves to be inspirational, as he creates a sense of fear in his soldiers. His dexterity can be almost hypnotic, as proven with one of his infamous victories, Anne. Richard has a somewhat outrageous logic. I think that because of his lack of conscience he views things differently to everyone else. It would seem sick to most people that after killing her husband and father Richard even suggests becoming Anne's husband, or even to show his face at the funeral yet Richard defies this all by doing all of the above. This makes him alluring to the audience as he is different to all of the other characters. ...read more.

Conclusion

His multiple personas make him dangerously alluring because it is difficult to say which of his personas his is utilising, and it would be difficult to believe him as it would be hard to tell whether what he is saying is an act. For example when he is speaking with Clarence he seems genuinely concerned about his brother, 'From whence this present day he is deliver'd? We are not safe, Clarence, we are not safe!' Perhaps without the aid of the soliloquies we would not know otherwise?. To conclude, I personally think that the two words 'Dangerously alluring' do justice to Richard's manipulative ways. Richard suffers from chronic ambitiousness, and as a result he does not have a conscience. Richard lures people into his web of deceit and quickly exterminates them if they do not fit the mould. He is a dangerous character as; I think he does not see people as human but as pawns to manipulate on the way to the throne. The factor that makes him most alluring is his multiple personalities which he explores throughout the play. His chameleonic ways are perilous because he can swap quickly for personality to personality making him interesting to the audience. This is not only perilous to the people around him, but also to himself as if he plays all of these characters he will soon lose himself in all of the pretence. By the end of the play he begins to deteriorate as personally I think that once he has achieved his main goal, he does not know what to do with himself, he quickly becomes paranoid and as a strong, dangerously alluring character, he collapses, and is no longer appealing to the audience. He become guilty, mistrustful, and vicious compared to his previous character which oozed charisma. No longer is he Richard, the anti hero with an alluring personality, but Richard III who no longer has control over a world which he once had wrapped around his little finger. Once upon a time Richard was dangerously alluring but towards the end he becomes dangerously aware. ...read more.

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