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How does Shakespeare represent female characters in Richard the third?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare represent female characters in Richard the third? In Richard the third, there are many different female characters that are put in contrast to men. The audience is aware of their presence and effect on the men in the play. In this essay the four main female characters will have a character analysis and viewing scenes when women overcome men or either the men make them look vulnerable. The traditional view of men was that they were Dominant, strong, brave, owner and Lord of all that he possessed. The traditional view of women was the object of possession, weak, obedient and homely. They were taught to stay at home, cook for the husband and bring up the children, also to generally do everything in her power to look beautiful for her husband. Men were expected to go out and work, to bring in money to bring up his family, to treat his wife as he saw fit and to be the master of the house. Shakespeare's time is actually different to Richard the thirds time, however the view on women is still the same. However, ironically some of the strongest monarchs that England has seen have been women. ...read more.

Middle

" Thou hast made the happy earth thy hell". Not only has Richard killed her husband but also he has made her life horrid now because she is a widow. Richard slowly weakens Lady Anne so when she accuses him of killing her husband, he denies it and steers the point onto her being the one to blame. Lines 121 act 1 scene 2 "Your beauty was the cause of that effect."(Of his actions.) In this quote Richard is slowly weakening her defense against him. Line 124 Act 1 scene 2 "So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom." Richard is displaying a want for Lady Anne and fooling her to believe that the reason he killed her husband was because Richard wanted Anne for himself and this appeals to her. So this is exactly what Richard desires! Richard is a very sly character and he slowly gets Lady Anne to forgive him by justifying himself. Richard works a lot with the physiological view. Secondly I will do a character analysis of the Duchess of York. She is the mother of King Edward and his brothers. Shakespeare represents this female character by showing her strength in front of her two cousins. This is when we first realize her character and she silences them. ...read more.

Conclusion

She might only be able to express her opinion to a less "lively" audience. However she does tell Richard what she thinks of him Line 117 act 1 scene 3, " out devil" and then on Line 113, "A murderous villain and so still thou art." These quotes show Queen Margaret rising up to Richard's level and telling him what she thinks. In most scenes she should be demonstrating her feminine state but instead she acts like a careless, opinionated woman that freely declares her cryptic statements and influences upon others. To conclude, Shakespeare represents female characters as weak, possessions and obedient. Women who do not fit into this stereotype would be outcast as they would be seen as unladylike and their father's would not find a suitable match for their daughters. Such characters are shown in "Much ado about nothing", "Macbeth" and in the play "Richard the third". Each female character is shown with their weakness, and as the story progresses, Richard uses each weakness to his advantage. The main weakness demonstrated by females is vanity and Richard uses his charms to get himself into power by targeting his victim's vanity. The traditional view of women is shown to be the second class citizens and Shakespeare uses information like this to characterize each one of his characters in each play that represents feminine involvement. ...read more.

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