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How does our opinion of Richard alter throughout the first 3 scenes of Shakespeares

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Introduction

How does our opinion of Richard change throughout Act 1 of Richard III? Throughout Act 1, Shakespeare presents Richard in many different lights, using both Richard's perspective and the perspective of other characters within the play. The first encounter with Richard is the opening monologue of the play. This monologue uses many different techniques to play with the emotions of any audience. For example, the impression I got of Richard, when first reading the play was that he was of high birth; because, due to the time period in which the play is set, anyone with education was well off, so without even knowing the role of Richard within the royal family, you would be able to tell this. I can draw this conclusion from Richard's clever use of words such as 'this sun of York,' which is an intelligent pun, as Richard is a son of York, and his play on words makes it seem as if he is incredibly important. This idea also gives an outlook on Richard's view of himself. A huge proportion of the first monologue draws in the negative features of Richard's life. This creates a huge amount of empathy towards him, making it seem as if he is the hard done by member of the family. ...read more.

Middle

Her anguish is clearly expressed in a short monologue, and then entrance of Richard is seen as an insult because he was the person who murdered the two men. Again, I felt torn at this point in the Act. It would be terribly disrespectful for someone who deliberately murdered a King, to arrive at his procession to their burial and continue to harass the mourning daughter-in-law in the process. Lady Anne makes this side of the argument a fore front issue in her rebuttal to Richard's words, and implies his guilt to their murders. 'O gentlemen, see, see dead Henry's wounds Open their congealed mouths and bleed afresh.' Showing that she thinks, due to Richard's presence, the King is suffering again because he is close to his murderer. However, the witty and skilful way that Richard brings Lady Anne to his side makes me feel as if he almost deserves the things he is working for. 'Look at how this ring encompasseth thy finger, Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart. Wear both of them, for both of them are thine;' His clever use of wordplay throughout and, as shown above, his blatant lies to gain her as an ally; demonstrates how clever he must be. To be able to draw someone who would be, without a doubt, an enemy to him, and make them as close to him as a betrothed, is a tactic and skill worth applause. ...read more.

Conclusion

Due to the empathy I felt towards Margaret, my feelings towards Richard changed. I no longer felt as intrigued by what he was going to do next because the effect it had was visible and clearly presented. The last act again betrays our trust as we are not told of Richard's ordering of Clarence's execution. The scene plays out in front of you, Clarence is murdered, but no where does it show any sign of Richard being remorseful or regretful of his brother's death. '... be sudden with the execution,/ withal obdurate. Do not hear him plead/ For Clarence is well spoken, and perhaps/ May move your hearts to pity if you mark him.' Most notably; the speech of the executioners shows us that they are of a much lower class than Clarence himself, and were probably not highly trained.'...and I came hither on my legs.' In conclusion, throughout the fist act, Shakespeare uses Richard's intelligence, and vices to alter our perception of him, his interactions with other characters also create empathy and antipathy towards him. The idea of this first Act seems to be to introduce the audience to the depth and complexity of Richard's character and to involve the audience as much as possible, and give the context of the play, to allow reasonable understanding of the future occurrences and actions in further Acts and scenes. ?? ?? ?? ?? - 1 - ...read more.

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