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Does Richard the third deserve his reputation?

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Introduction

English Coursework Title: Does Richard the third deserve his reputation? The question of Richard lll's reputation is a puzzle as he was thought of in many alternative ways by the different characters or at contrasting times in the play. His reputation deteriorates towards the end of the play. His brothers Clarence (George) and Edward are fond of him and believe he is an honest, trustworthy man and this is why they do not realise his evil plan. This plan starts when the king has been given advice to imprison anyone close to him whose name begins with the letter "G". As the king's brother the duke of Clarence is named George he is sent to the tower. On the way he passes Richard and he assures Clarence he will get him out of the tower, that he shall deliver him and that his "imprisonment shall not be long". This is play on words and a form used numerously throughout the play, because Clarence is not in prison long, two murderers employed by Richard to deliver him to a better place. It is thought that if Clarence had lived longer and especially after the murderers had been in as there was a long scene in which one of the murderers backed out of murdering him and Richards's name was undisclosed to Clarence. Anne who later becomes Richards begrudging wife refers to him as "foul devil" and "fouler toad", not traditional words of endearment! ...read more.

Middle

I think this is the reason for wanting revenge on his brothers and for wanting to prove himself by getting to the throne by any means! Also in regards to his reputation it may be that he was already thought of badly because of his hunchback and so people assumed he was a bad person. I think Richard does deserve his reputation because he was evil and malicious. He killed many people and he manipulated people into gaining what he wanted. Also he was ruthless in his fight for the crown and would even do wrong to his family. I think Richard chose the reputation he was given. He must have been very self-conscious about the way people look on him because of his deformities and he would have wanted people to look at him differently and with respect. He could not compete with his brothers as they were properly formed and the only way of gaining the respect he wants is to become King. He says at the very start that, " since I cannot prove a lover...I am determined to prove a villain" this shows that his evil plan has been thought of long before the play begins and it has been made fool proof. The first bit of the plan is in motion and the aim was " to set my brother Clarence and the king in deadly hate the one against the other". ...read more.

Conclusion

By the end of the book Richard has no friends and only his servants who are probably just scared or in need of a job. People that he befriended during the play like Buckingham had left by the end because Richard refused to give him what he had promised. Another reason was that Richard had grown to dislike him because he had failed to kill the princes as a matter of heart, he fled for the fear of losing his life. All of his family disliked him, especially his mother, who at one time says, "Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end; shame serves thy life and doth thy death attend". His wife hates him and refers to him as a " foul devil" and a toad. Another person who is not a fan. His best friend Buckingham walks out on him and starts a rebellion against him, which eventually brings him down. I think he was an evil man and deserved everything he got. He made his reputation what it was. Although I do think that he may already have been disliked and feared because of his appearance and this is what drove him to be so desperate to get the throne .His reputation was all part of the play as it is a moralistic play. The moral would probably be a mixture of, "Don't judge a person by their appearance", " Do not hurt, or kill" and "do not covet others possessions." These are all traditional morals and are all very important. ...read more.

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