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Examine the dramatic techniques used by Shakespeare to manipulate the audiences response to Richard.

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Introduction

Richard 3rd English Coursework For this essay I have been given the question; examine the dramatic techniques used by Shakespeare to manipulate the audiences response to Richard. I have restricted myself to examining two scenes in detail. 1.2 Richard is an extremely quick verbal swordsman and Shakespeare demonstrates this by having very fast interplay between Richard and Anne. Imagery is used - he invokes St.Paul twice, (line 36 and 41) and most of his audience would have been aware that this Saint was one who had undergone a transformation (for the better) in his character. (Probably not so amongst the rank and file of a modern audience) Anne responds by calling on a higher authority in her speech, mentioning God three times between lines 50 and 70. The religious imagery continues, with angels being counterpoised with devils (Anne - O wonderful, when devils tell the truth - Richard - More wonderful, when angels are so angry) ...read more.

Middle

The effect that this has on the audience is twofold. Firstly the audience gain respect for Richards's skill with language and persuasion, secondly they see what kind of man Richard really is. His speech and tone in his soliloquy shows that he takes pleasure from his acts and looks upon the situation as a challenge for himself. As a reward for the successful completion of his challenge he will "Entertain a score of tailors and study fashions to adorn my body, since I am crept in favour with myself," This also creates the feeling that Richard "plays" people to achieve his aims and looks upon his actions as some kind of game. The audience cannot help but admire the sheer courage of this man because only a very confident individual could attempt to win the love of his victims' wife within such a short space of time (or at all). ...read more.

Conclusion

As Richard is killed very soon after, the audience must feel sorrowful for Richard as in previous scenes we have seen the development of a conscience ("By the apostle Paul, shadows have struck more terror to the soul of Richard than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers,") and a change in his attitude. He no longer sees it as a game. The audience must be moved by these troubles in him and when he is killed the audience have gone from hate to sorrow but not quickly. The change has happened slowly over the course of the play as we see Richard himself change to a different man. He no longer takes the mischievous pleasure that he used to, he no longer smiles with delight when one of his tricks succeeds. He is a changed man, haunted by the shadows of his victims and hated by the earthly survivors. We cannot help but grieve for this man as he dies because he is now grieving for those that died by his hand. ...read more.

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