• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...

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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Richard III section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Richard III essays

  1. Is Richard the Hero of the play or its villain

    Shakespearian audience because they are not using Christ properly, he is just using them to make him look good. The public are deeply suspicious of Richard here. The theme of appearance and reality is prominent here. By doing this Richard conveys a false impression, but doing this is again shows

  2. 'In plot, in imagery, in structure, Richard II offers us little thatis not already ...

    Richard does this despite a very clear warning from York of the troubles ahead if he carries out his plan: "You pluck a thousand dangers on your head, / You lose a thousand well-dispos�d hearts," (II.i.205-6). This again is a clear warning of what is to come if Richard does

  1. Explain How Richard Succeeds in Seducing Lady Anne in Act 1 Scene 1 of ...

    decision but quickly covers it up by saying, "I don't blame you, after all you are only mortal and he is the devil." "What, do you tremble? Are you afraid? Alas, I blame you not, for you are mortal And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil."

  2. Is Richard III a hero or a villain

    The courage in this case could prove to be of a worthy villain, rather than a valiant hero. An important factor, I feel, is the view of Niccolo Machiavelli, whose book of 1513, "The Prince" met much controversy. It stated that an ideal ruler should be ruthless & controlling rather than religious and moral.

  1. Shakespeare's presentation of the character of Richard III

    To me this shows how Richard is slowly slipping away from his original sharp minded, witty and humorous self. The penultimate thing which is shown in Richard is the exact oppositeness to Richmond. Richmond's camp is shown to be orderly and overall alright but Richard's camp is in dismay and Richard himself isn't his usual self.

  2. Our intial impression of a character usually influences the way we judge that character ...

    and how, now his father has left the house to him, "no child shall cry in it." Essie is relieved and very pleased at the kindness that Richard is showing her, and he instantly makes a good impression upon her, despite Judith's and the others' efforts to make her a "good girl", and to prevent her from living with Richard.

  1. Is it right to describe Edward the Confessor as a failure?

    he went against his brother and Edward had no alternative but to allow Morcar to rule Northumbria. Edward was not able to solve the problem of the succession. The king had no children and according to Schama4, Edward refused to consummate the marriage with Godgifu.

  2. What were the reasons behind Harold's visit to Normandy and How was the Visit ...

    Harold knew too well the consequences if he refused to sign the oath, imprisonment or even more likely death. If William wanted something he usually tended to get it. Another point of key significance from the outcome of these events was the personal experience of Harold after seeing the force and strength, which the Norman army possessed.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work