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

Richard III by William Shakespeare - “How genuine was the relationship between Richard and Buckingham?”

Extracts from this document...


Richard III by William Shakespeare "How genuine was the relationship between Richard and Buckingham?" This essay is to assess how authentic the friendship between the cunning Richard and the apt and able Buckingham, discussing whether they were ever truly friends or whether they were just using each other to get what they wanted. Throughout their so-called "friendship", Richard and Buckingham stood by each other through thick and thin on the course of Richard's rise to the throne. Unfortunately, once Richard realised that he had got as much as he could out of Buckingham, he disposed of him, although they worked closely together and Buckingham did everything possible to help Richard's ascent to be King of England, he reached a certain point of remorse when he was asked to murder the two young princes, one of which was heir to the throne. Before we note of Richards and Buckingham's friendship kindling only a few scenes in from the beginning of the play, the audience already know of Richard's sinister plans due to his opening soliloquy, advanced dominantly where he admits his motives to becoming King of England. The first scene where it is apparent that Richard and Buckingham seem to be on the same wave-length and assisting each other is that of Act I Scene III. We, as the audience, have previously learnt of Richard's powerful determination to get what he wants as he has already planned the striking off of the next in line for the throne, his brother Clarence, and has wooed the heart of Anne, although he murdered her husband and father-in-law during the War of the Roses. These accomplishments are proof enough to show that nothing will stand in Richards's way to get what he wants and it seems as though Buckingham doesn't know what he is in for. Act I Scene III opens with Lord Rivers and Lord Grey attempting to comfort Queen Elizabeth, whilst she is concerned about the fate of her family should her husband's health continue to deteriorate. ...read more.


Prince Edward's younger brother arrives, jests with Richard but also seems disconcerted when he learns he will be staying in the Tower with his brother. When compared with his brother, Edward initially seems a gloomy and petulant boy. However, we recognise that he should be able to sustain the right to be subdued as his mother didn't seem to make the effort to come to greet him and quite rightly so, in his opinion, the Tower of London isn't a beneficial place to start his reign. The boys are led off and Richard and Buckingham discuss their plans with another ally of Richard, Catesby, about Hastings, asking C0atesby to sound him out and discover whether he would support Richard's attempt to rise to the throne, however, it is Buckingham that sets down the laws and tells Catesby how to approach Hastings, what information to divulge and what to retrieve, not Richard. This becomes one of Buckingham's traits, as he seems to think he is the one more in control of Richard's rise to the throne. At the end of the scene, Richard and Buckingham discuss the fate of Hastings should he decide not to assist Richard, Buckingham ponders how they would deal with Hastings should he resist. "Chop off his head, man" (3.1.line 193) comes the brisk, callous reply from Richard, misplacing Buckingham's self-confidence proving that Richard's startling words confirm his brutal control of events. This is how Richard tends to deal with all of his enemies: Buckingham beware. Although this may be the case, it seems as though Richard recognises all of the good deeds that Buckingham has done to aid his plans, and so promises Buckingham the Earldom of Hereford. "Richard: And, look, when I am King, claim thou of me The earldom of Hereford and all the movables Whereof the King, my brother was possess'd. Buckingham: I'll claim that promise at your Grace's hand. ...read more.


He is forced to respond unwelcome news and setbacks, For the first time, he voices his doubts, but remains cold and brutal. As the scene progresses we realise that the sovereign is not secure - his henchmen hesitates, Dorset has fled to Richmond, and Richard recognises that he must marry again to maintain his authority and right to the throne. Finally, and most significantly, he seems to be taking notice of prophecies - Richard has none of his mocking humour in this scene, remaining sinister and isolated. Overall, the doubtful "friendship" between Richard and Buckingham seemed to work, until they both realised that they had got as much as they could of each other. From the relationship Richard managed to secure the throne as his own with the aid of Buckingham and Buckingham gained a higher power of events, control and got a taste of what the real Richard was like. Although the main strength of the relationship was greed, on both of their behalf's, it seems as though Richard genuinely enjoyed the company of Buckingham as he was able to voice his motives and gain an opinion on claiming the throne. There is proof of this as at the beginning of the play, Shakespeare had to use soliloquies to be able to reveal Richard's foreboding plots of determination and resoluteness to become the King of England, as Richard had no one to disclose his plans with. Since Richard has formed a "friendship" with Buckingham, Shakespeare didn't have to use soliloquies as the audience can now learn of Richards's intentions through his conniving conversations with Buckingham, his confidant. Richard finally realised that Buckingham had reached a point of anguish when he faltered when asked to dispose of the Princes. This was the point of the end of the relationship and Buckingham seemed to have reached his "sell-by date", doing all that was within his power to aid Richard's rise to the throne, but it quickly became apparent that Buckingham was not willing to murder the Princes and so became non-beneficial to Richard's continuing problems. ?? ?? ?? ?? Joanna Lowe Page 1 4/30/2007 ...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. How Genuine was the Relationship Between Richard and Buckingham?

    This shows Richard's opinion of Buckingham before the 'friendship' is as a "simple gull" which clearly tells the audience that Richard is only interested in the usefulness of Buckingham to aid him in becoming King: he has no respect for him.

  2. Why does the audience admire Richard III and feel sympathy based on the opening ...

    describes himself with various phrases and adjective, such as 'deformed, unfinished, sent before my time'. This is a continuous sentence which shows that theirs a long list of adequate handsome features missing from Richard. We also like the comparison between his wrong and who is rightful and wise.

  1. Richard III - provide an exploration of how Shakespeare presents appearance and reality within ...

    "No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity." "But I know none, and therefore am no beast." (Act 1 scene 2.Line 71-73) This is ironic as Richard is a figurative beast that displays no pity when it comes to getting what he wants and Anne fails to see beyond this falsified gentle side of Richard.

  2. Richard III Empathetic Essay

    I can smell the victory of Richmond approaching, just like Richard refusing to argue with us women, and instead attempting to drive us away with trumpets and drums. This strongly suggested his weakening, and the weaker he became the stronger we grew.

  1. Exploration of the techniques used to foreshadow death in Richard ...

    going to die, which not only succeeds in foreshadowing their death, but also the means surrounding their deaths. This adds further to the heavy irony surrounding the situation, as the characters do not believe in her curses. 'False-boding woman' 1.3.247, however this is ironic in the sense that Margaret is

  2. Did Buckingham build Thornbury Castle, his home, as a palace or a castle for ...

    Most parts of Thornbury were left unfinished so it is unsure why these were left until last other than the fact they were the least important parts. We cannot be certain of his motives because the castle was never completed due to his beheading.

  1. Richard III In act 1 scene 2, Richard is put to the test of ...

    When Elizabeth sarcastically goes over all the ways he has hurt her family, Richard says, "You mock me, madam. This is not the way to win your daughter." Richard answers simply and directly because he does not know what else to say.

  2. How does Shakespeare reveal Richard III's characteristics and skills to be both repulsive and ...

    of her family passes on the news of the King's illness to Richard: "NO news so bad abroad as this at home: The king is sickly, weak and melancholy, and his physicians fear him mightily.." In front of Hastings, Richard acts as if this is a disappointment and tragedy, "Now by Saint John, that news is bad indeed..."

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