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GCSE: Richard III

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  1. Our intial impression of a character usually influences the way we judge that character throughout the play. Discuss the way Shaw presents Richard Dudgeon to the audience in Act I. Have your impressions of him changed by the end of the play?

    Richard, however, shows a profound liking and support of Peter, and this means that he too is looked upon in disgust, particularly by his mother. Judith Anderson has much the same opinion of Richard as his mother does, though her dislike is perhaps not quite as severe. Richard is put down simply because of his religious beliefs; whereas all of his relatives are Puritans, he simply wants to enjoy life, and this is what has earned him the title of the 'Devil's Disciple'.

    • Word count: 2247
  2. 'Dangerously alluring', to what extent is this an accurate estimation of Richards Character?

    '...thou lump of foul deformity' The latter insult is very wounding towards Richard as it refers to his deformity, i.e. his withered arm, which he is very aware of, he makes many comments throughout the play about it, (Act I scene I) 'Cheating of feature by dissembling Nature' 'But I, that am not shaped for sporting tricks...' '...descant upon my own deformity.' And thinks himself inferior because of it, '...since I cannot prove a lover...' This reference to Richard's deformity, by Anne reflects how angry she is.

    • Word count: 3155
  3. What is Junk by Melvin Burgess.

    Tars Real name is DAVID but gemma gave him the name tar because he is always smoking. Tar's Father is a teacher at his school and always keeps his eye on him. Tars Mother never stops Drinking. Tar's Father is the one who always lashes out on him and states it's always his fault. The novel Junk, Melvin Burgess leaves a note at the beginning of the book to let the reader know JUNK is true. At the Beginning of the novel Gemma is excited to run away. "Why not leave home? Its east, its cheap and it gets your point across beautifully" P15 The novel Junk was set in the 1980`s.

    • Word count: 1871
  4. Thornbury Castle.

    Barracks: In the outer court there are remains of barracks, which is unusual and atypical of the time as it was illegal to have a private army. The barracks had very thick walls and up to 400 soldiers could be housed there. The ground floor contained stables and the upper floors were living quarters. Some people thought Buckingham built the barracks because he was planning to seize the throne. The barracks were built facing Wales where Buckingham had many angry tenants.

    • Word count: 1727
  5. Richard III Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon.

    As Goodman ploughs through the healthily sized speech that is so famously known as "know is the winter of our discontent" the effects crew cleverly coincide with the words he speaks to add another comic level, that has clearly been laid down by the director. As he assertively says the words "that dogs do bark at me", the noise of a pack of crazed Doberman's comes from off-stage. Richard whips out a concealed blade from his walking stick, goes to the side of the stage, stabs at something just out of sight, then cleans blood from the blade.

    • Word count: 801
  6. Is it right to describe Edward the Confessor as a failure?

    Therefore Edward stopped this alliance from being formed to protect his country, by promising William the throne in 1051. Due to all these sources agreeing with Edward's determination to prevent invasion from his kingdom, it is probable that this piece of interpretation of Edward is reliable, showing that Edward was not a failure. Barlow describes Snorri Sturluson1 saying that Edward was "nicknamed Edward the Good, which describes him well...By the English he is regarded as a saint." Barlow mentions that Enconium Emmae2 says that Edward had courage, determination and possessed all the desirable qualities, which is similar to how a poem3 in the chronicle describes Edward according to Barlow.

    • Word count: 3783
  7. Consider in detail the final scene of "She stoops to conquer". How does it reconcile the comedy with the sentimental theme of redemption.

    This is perhaps only really true of Marlow in "She stoops to conquer". His faltering, stuttering address to Kate is one of many comedy moments centred around his 'dual personality'. The gentlemanly Marlow is modest and reserved, unable to even meet Kate's eye on their first meeting, yet when in the company of, as Miss Neville puts it, "creatures of another stamp" Marlow becomes very eloquent and smooth tongued, in many ways a sexual predator, while Kate in her barmaid guise is his prey. This concept of predator and prey is not followed for any great period as it would probably cause a lack of audience empathy for Marlow and his predicament.

    • Word count: 1933
  8. In the play, 'The Devil's Disciple' by George Bernard Shaw, the playwright shows a lot of conflict between the 'good' and 'bad'. In Act 1, Scene 1, he conflicts the behaviour of Mrs Dudgeon and Anthony Anderson in many ways.

    Shaw obviously thinks a great deal of him, respecting him. He does not say anything bad about him. Shaw is displaying Anderson as a loving and kind man. He looks "compassionately" at Mrs Dudgeon, stating that the lord had laid his hand "very heavily" upon her. She in turn replies "with intensely recalcitrant resignation." The conflict between them had already arisen, very clear. Mrs Dudgeon "spitefully" comments that her husband Timothy's brother Peter "deserved it, if ever a man did." We are told later that she in fact was in love with Peter. Possibly Shaw in intending that we notice that she is not very forgiving and "good" Christians are supposed to be forgiving.

    • Word count: 862
  9. How does Shakespeare represent female characters in Richard the third?

    However, ironically some of the strongest monarchs that England has seen have been women. This shows that although times change, women can still prove to be just as strong as the men. Such as, Bodica who lead her Viking troops into war and defeated the Romans many times. Elizabeth the first was also a very strong monarch in Shakespeare's time. That time was a patriarchal society, so men, who could influence the characters in Richard the third, dominated it. Women are seen as the victims. However, the longest reigning monarch is Victoria who reigned for 60 years. This demonstrates long life, strength in war and battle, and also strength of mind in many situations.

    • Word count: 2151
  10. Is it right to describe Edward the Confessor as a failure?

    This shows Edward as a successful as he defended his kingdom from Swein invading. There is also evidence from Barlow that "Edward always took command whenever possible of an invasion. Edward provides training of his navy and he gave it leadership when danger threatened." According to Barlow, Edward was able to deal with the foreign policy going worse. Edward was able to stop William from forming an alliance with Flanders. The reason why he does this was because then that would mean they would share maritime power, meaning that they could help Swein, Magnus or Harold Hardrada from invading England.

    • Word count: 3092
  11. Was Edward IV's ruling between 1471-1483 effective?

    Edwards second reign (1471-1483), in contrast with his first (1461-69), was by far the more successful of the two. During 1461-70 Edward struggled to impose himself onto the people of England. Within the 1960's Edward himself admitted that his interests in women, food and wine caused problems during his reign and whilst his surprising marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, politically caused problems, financially it only slowed his progress to recovery. In fact many historians have gone as far to say that Edward's original reign was not much of an improvement to the disastrous reign of his predecessor, Henry VI. However, it must be remembered that Edward took over in very difficult circumstances.

    • Word count: 752
  12. How effective a ruler was Edward 4th from 1471 to 1483?

    Edward enjoyed no fought battle in France. In 1475 Edward was able to negotiate the Treaty of Piquigny, which gave Edward a guarantee of 7 years of peace but also gave a very valuable �15,000 down payment and a following �10,000 a year. This was a lot of money that Edward was receiving for not doing anything this was very important for the health of the kingdoms economy. Despite the lack of any fighting tacking place in this campaign Edward kept most of the money that he had received through the parliaments voting of taxes and also the benevolence gifts he had been given from the citizens.

    • Word count: 1508
  13. 'Richard is a character of extraordinary energy and charisma. In comparison the others seem dull and predictable' - Is this a correct representation of Richard compared to the other characters?

    This character is Elizabeth. She realizes she is in great peril when her son (Grey) and her brother (Rivers) are both arrested. Elizabeth says: "Come, come, my boy, we will to sanctuary. Madam, farewell." Elizabeth decides to flee, and go into hiding because she fears for her life from Richard. Elizabeth at this point I don't think knows exactly what Richards up too, but she does know Richard will come after her aswell. This is quite an unpredictable event as she does not wait around and fall into Richards evil plot. So i would say that she showed a knowledge and used initiative by pre-determining Richards plans for her, this shows that she is quite energetic.

    • Word count: 1250
  14. The play "The Devil's Disciple" by Bernard Shaw.

    When the army called for Anderson he was out and Richard willingly allowed himself to be mistaken for the minister and was taken away to be hung. One of the key scenes within the play was when Judith (the Minister's wife) went to speak to Richard about him sacrificing himself for who she sees as her cowardly husband. This scene shows Richard's brave opinion and the idea that even though he is not conventionally religious, he in fact has higher and more admirable morals than those who are strictly religious: JUDITH "Do you realize that you are going to kill yourself?"

    • Word count: 706
  15. Explain the importance of Act 1 Scene 1 to 'King Richard Third' Discuss your ideas for presenting these scenes and say, how successfully you think the Loncraine Version interpreted them.

    These contrasts indicate to the reader how one wartime use is being changed to a celebration indicating the idea of peace, stability and national unity. With, "Our Stern alarms chang'd to merry meetings" indicates through the alliteration of the 'm' how much partying is taking place. Moreover, "Our dreadful marches to delightful measures"; this balance is further enhanced through the double vowel sound with the 'd' and the 'm'. This further enhances the use of national unity and collaboration. In the opening soliloquy, Richard uses personification of winter to exemplify war and the discontent of people.

    • Word count: 2841
  16. Why in the period to 1072, was William successful in establishing his authority over England?

    However, partially due to indignation at their new Norman leader and partially due to Odo and Fitz William's harsh rule, rebellions inevitably broke out in Britain. One of William's responses to these threats was brutal suppression, as infamously demonstrated in the 'harrying of the North'. Although this method was ultimately successful in suppressing the violent northern rebels as well as preventing the success of the 1069 Danish invasion, it could also be argued that through this inhumane and savage action against the Anglo-Saxons, William created more problems than he solved.

    • Word count: 759
  17. Richard III by William Shakespeare - 'How much sympathy do you have for the executed Hastings?'

    The shared dislike of Queen Elizabeth between Hastings and Richard kindles a friendship between them, and as the audience, we aren't taken in by his false concern and so know that this technique Richard has used to intrigue Hastings is extremely effective, and Hastings has fallen into the trap of trusting Richard. In this scene, some empathy is directed towards Hastings because in only the first scene we have seen Richard cast Hastings under his spell and Hastings becomes captivated, oblivious to the apparent corrupt and depraved qualities of Richard.

    • Word count: 2647
  18. How do we feel Sympathy or Admiration for Richard III?

    A good example of this simple play structure is in the Phrase, "The cease of majesty Dies not alone, but like a gulf doth draw What's near it with it;" The brief explanation of this is when the King dies everything that is around the King and depends on the king dies with him. The question that I am going to answer is, "How do we feel sympathy for Richard III?" and I am going to answer it by analysing the scenes in which he has thoughts of personal reflection and the scenes in which he wins us over with his charm and charisma.

    • Word count: 3079
  19. Why did the Yorkist Dynasty Collapse?

    Some views suggest this move was planned, and these weeks of relative peace and quiet were to lull the nobles and the public into a false sense of security. However some views suggest that Richard just got carried away with his power over the young king and decided it was best for him to just take complete charge. Richard, to ensure his position as king, confined Edward and his brother Richard to the Tower of London. There, some time afterward, both nephews were put to death.

    • Word count: 745
  20. Richard III.The main theme in Richard III is the conflict between what is good and what is immoral. Richard represents the most unpleasant qualities of a human soul.

    This is the only moment when we can see his conscious talking to him. It is midnight, the time when the witches go out, and Richard is so afraid, he sweats. He realizes that his feeling might be caused by the self conscience of his own evil nature. "What do I fear? Myself? There's none else by. Richard loves Richard; that is, I and I." (182-185). This last expression confirms that the two selves are emerging. His attitude is different now in comparison to the beginning of the play, when he talked to the audience and seemed to be in total control of the situation.

    • Word count: 813
  21. 'In plot, in imagery, in structure, Richard II offers us little thatis not already present or implicit in Edward II. 'Assess Shakespeare's debt to Marlowe in this play.

    The main reason I highlight this theory is because much of Shakespeare's work seems to be a progression from where Marlowe left off, when comparing their work it seems Marlowe's work matures into that of Shakespeare's. This may well be because Shakespeare is indebted to Marlowe, but a separate reason for this may be because he was in fact the same man. If this theory were the case then the assessment of Shakespeare's debt to Marlowe in Richard II would be futile because he would owe everything he knew to the man, for the simple reason that they were the same person.

    • Word count: 4090
  22. Mary Tudor's Reign Was a Disaster: Do You Agree?

    The news was kept secret until Northumberland bullied the council into proclaiming Lady Jane as queen. Mary managed to escape Northumberland's agents and went to Norfolk, which was full of Catholics. She wrote a letter to the council demanding the throne. Northumberland's troops sent to fight Mary deserted. He was forced to surrender. He was hanged on July 1553. Mary changed everything that her brother had done. This meant that: 1. The prayer book was outlawed. 2. Holy Days were to be observed. 3. Mary refused the title "head of the church". 4. Married priests were to leave their wives.

    • Word count: 846
  23. Richard III - provide an exploration of how Shakespeare presents appearance and reality within Richard III.

    A major driving force through the evil legacy of Richard is his physical appearance. Richard is "deformed" and "unfinished" and he uses his disability to fool others into thinking that he may possess vulnerability. Richard's physical features are closely linked to aspects surrounding evil, which mirror the evil he has inside. Shakespeare presents Richard in a rather disturbing manner throughout the play and he provides us with further disturbing images of Richard. "That he could gnaw a crust at two years old, Twas full two years ere I could get a tooth."

    • Word count: 2071
  24. In Act 1, what strategies does Richard use to set his plots in motion and why are they so effective? Discuss whether Richard's actions reveal him to be

    Richard's ultimate plan is to be King, to reach this goal; he must conduct acts of tyranny because he has no right to be King (the Divine Right of Kingship). In the opening soliloquy, Richard lays out his plots and thinks about how he can get Clarence imprisoned and killed. During the wooing of Lady Anne, first of all she is reluctant to give into Richard, however after a while of Richard wooing her, she gives in to him. And, throughout the conversation between Richard and Clarence, Richard is seen to be a Machiavellian character.

    • Word count: 1495
  25. Summary of Act 1.

    When his brother is led away by Brakenbury, Lord Hastings enters. He has just been released from the Tower. He tells Richard that Edward is 'sickly, weak and melancholy ' (line 136), and that his doctors fear for his life. When Hastings leaves, Richard uses dramatic irony to outline his plans to have Clarence killed before Edward dies. He is also determined too marry the Earl of Warwick's daughter, Anne, who was formerly engaged to Prince Edward, who was Henry VI's son. Scene 2 Henry VI's body is being taken for burial.

    • Word count: 1022

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