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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

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Introduction

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 "totally evil" or the "undisputed hero of the play". To begin with, this essay will summarise Act 1 by pointing out the main factors. There are three main factors in Act 1, which are firstly, the opening soliloquy, secondly, the wooing of Lady Anne, and finally, Richard and Clarence. Richard is appealing because he is an expert actor and trickster. Whilst he is outlining his plots, he is always in charge of himself, and extremely aware of how to play every scene to his advantage. His dishonesty and deception are daring and irresistible to the audience. He is skilled at playing the concerned family man, taking his brother, Clarence and then he becomes the Protector of his nephews. 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. ...read more.

Middle

Lady Anne gave in to Richard because he has appealed to her best instincts; he has convinced her that she should forgive, even if she cannot forget. He has also feigned penitence. In Richard's scheme against Clarence, we see the first solid result of his cunning and insincere plots. Clarence falls from royal favour and is locked up, while Hastings regains it and is freed. During the plot against Clarence, Richard deceives him by acting friendly with him, but then, when he left for the Tower of London, Richard puts a plot together to make Clarence and King Edward be against each other. He has arranged for King Edward to find his brother, Clarence, a threat and imprison him to the Tower. The first act brings in the imagery of mirrors and shadows, both of which are used extensively throughout the play to describe Richard. In scene two he wants to look at himself in a mirror after Lady Anne takes his ring. This symbolizes the fact that Richard is able to reflect people back onto themselves. So, Lady Anne sees him as possibly being a good man because she herself is good. Clarence views him as "kind," which is a better description of himself. And like a mirror, Richard is impossible to see through. Imagery is also used in Act 1 Scene 2, where Anne is cursing Richard. She uses images of the devil, and "blood thirsty animals", such as dogs, hogs, boars, spiders, and toads. ...read more.

Conclusion

The audience are led to believe that Richard and Clarence have no blood-ties/brotherly love because of Richard's horrendous actions. Richard is also seen by the audience to have no conscience, because of what he has done to his own brother. His reasons are not even justified for taking such dreadful actions. There are a few points for the argument that Richard is the "undisputed hero of the play". In Act 1:2; he was persistent and audacious enough to win over Anne's love. He also had the power to play mind games with her to win her over with words. Furthermore, throughout Act 1, Richard always seems to have an answer for his victim. This is very clever, as he could win over the hearts of some of the audience this way. I can now conclude that Richard's actions in Act 1 reveal him to be "totally evil". Before he has won over his victims, he is seen as a devilish, deceiving, and inhumane character. He should not take the theory that because of his physical deformity and because he cannot prove a lover, he should become a villain and gain power. There are far more reasons for Richard being "totally evil" than him being the "undisputed hero of the play", and also, the arguments for Richard being the "undisputed hero of the play" would not hold up very well against the arguments for Richard being "totally evil". This is because the arguments for him being "totally evil" are more compelling than him being the "undisputed hero of the play". Mithun Rama 10dha English coursework miss. Christie ...read more.

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