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

Richard III, Opening Speech - Comment on the effectiveness of the speech as an opening (prologue) to the play.

Extracts from this document...


Richard III, Opening Speech Comment on the effectiveness of the speech as an opening (prologue) to the play. Consider the main characters, information being given to the audience as well as the setting and plot. Richard III is a historical play and we are drawn to this factor from Richard's speech at the opening of the play. Shakespeare uses Richard's character as his main device for setting the scene. As it is a play the audience would see Richard entering on a bare stage and this alone would leave an effect of them which would soon be reinforced by the speech he is about to give. The speech itself is delivered in a soliloquy, a device that is well associated with Shakespeare. It reveals the inner most thoughts of the character, exposing their true nature and their state of mind. The first words of his opening speech, "Now is the winter of our discontent" This single, very effective line enables the audience in understanding what the situation is. ...read more.


At this moment in time Shakespeare's main concern is Richard and Richard's main concern is also Richard. Which emphasises and singles out Richards main concerns which is purely himself. The speech in itself is a very effective way it is used to arouse the audience in such a way that they are left with mixed questions and feelings. Such as who Richard is and what has caused his descriptive outpour. In the course of the speech, Richard says, " I am determined to prove a villain" Quickly the audience is made to believe that evil, is the source of Richard's pleasure and that At no point in the duration of his speech does Richard hesitate to think or question himself. Which may show him to be a spontaneous person. As he continues Richard shares his plans quite intimately and very generously with the audience. He tells us that he has caused trouble between his brothers, George, Duke of Clarence and King Edward. We are made of Richard's true treacherous nature when he says, "Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here Clarence comes.." ...read more.


It is right at the beginning of the play so it is a source of information, which gives us details and clues about background and characters as well as potential plot lines. In picturing Richard as if in a production, I imagine a deformed middle aged man who is desperately trying to win over the audience. His speech is powerful and is a brilliant demonstration of his persuasive powers. To me he is attempting to coerce the audience into sympathising with him and to seeing things from his point of view because there are always two sides to a coin. I don't think that he actually manages to achieve this but he does mange to stir them up and have some bias or some understanding into his motive before other characters are introduced into the play. He does not want us to convict him but because the speech is a soliloquy what is being portrayed is what Richard is actually thinking and not what he is pretending to be. So he is showing his true colours right from the beginning so that we know Richards demeanour from the outset. Richard III Question Sheila Abaniwo ...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. Discuss The Character of Richard III as Shakespeare Presents Him, and How the Play ...

    Richard is acting as he shows concern to Clarence from lines forty two to one hundred and seventeen of the first scene. He changes his tone, having told the audience his evil plan, he acts as though he is unaware why Clarence is being sent to the tower, "What means this armed guard that waits upon thy grace?"

  2. How does Richard change over the course of the play Richard III?

    and "coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!" Richard is acting all of the time for his love of acting; he plays so many roles I don't think he knows himself who he really is. "is there a murderer here? No.

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

    Also Schama6 believes that it is unlikely Edward did this, as he would set aside the claim of his own great-nephew Edgar Atheling. However, if Edward did promise the throne to Harold on his deathbed, Edward has caused even more complications.

  2. How is Richard III presented and how does his character compare with other figures ...

    Even though Richard is planning to kill his brothers and others he seems very calm about everything. He makes Clarence think he will set him free by saying "I will deliver you" but Richard means he will kill him.

  1. 'Dangerously alluring', to what extent is this an accurate estimation of Richards Character?

    King Rich; But in your daughters womb I shall bury them... This statement is absolutely sick minded and only Richard would have the audacity to say something like this. This makes him dangerously alluring as he is unique in this play.

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

    men, but Henry's journey through England that only emphasises Richard's loss and the ease of Henry's win. Shakespeare has handed the power over to the new king in one scene and spends the next two scenes confirming what has already occurred.

  1. Richard III's Character in the Play and History

    He convinces the Lord Mayor that Hastings was an enemy and so he had reason to kill him. "We live to tell it, that the subtle traitor this day had plotted, in the council house," By giving the Mayor a reason why Hastings deserved to be killed, the Citizens would

  2. How effectively did the Scots respond to Edward I's historical arguments for English superiority ...

    He writes that "indeed, the king and inhabitants of the kingdom of Scotland, having undertaken the faith of the Roman Church, recognised the suzerainty of its lord, in temporal as in spiritual affairs."15 This was a supremely bold statement for the representative of a feudal monarchy to make, and in

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