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

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RICHARD III- PROVIDE AN EXPLORATION OF HOW SHAKESPEARE PRESENTS APPEARANCE AND REALITY WITHIN RICHARD III - A key theme that William Shakespeare uses in the play, Richard III, is appearance and reality. Appearance and reality is the meaning that something may appear in one way but in truth it is completely the opposite. This device is utilized through the main characters in the play very effectively. Richard is the main character in the play and Shakespeare makes sure that the audience do not associate him with only one character. Richard's role in the play swings continually in a web of lies and deceit. It is through appearance and reality that Richard is able to metamorphose his character and this aids him in getting what he requires. The five areas in which I will counterbalance appearance and reality will be Richard's physical appearance linked with evil, his relationship with Clarence and the rest of his brothers and his treatment of women. The remaining two areas I will cover will be what is said in private compared with what is said in public and finally Richard's corrupt allies and how they manipulate religion. ...read more.


A vital area into where the audience gains insight into future events regarding Richard, is through what is said in public to what is said in private. Throughout the play whatever is said in public does not always expose the truth. It is what is said in private that reflects true feelings and future plots which is why it is so important. We observe this almost immediately in the play, regarding what Richard says to his brother Clarence in person as to what is said to the audience. "Your imprisonment shouldn't be long. I will deliver you, or else lie for you." (Act 1 scene 1.Line 115) When nobody is in Richard's presence he reveals his true intentions towards Richard. " Go tread the path that thou shalt ne'er return. Simple plain Clarence, I do love thee so that I will shortly send thy soul to heaven." (Act 1 scene 1.Line 117-119.) In this instance Richard reveals future plots against his brother, through what is said in private. His acting convinces Clarence that he will be saved but in reality he will be murdered by him. ...read more.


It revitalizes his character and interest in him is always stimulated because of this. To an extent, Richard uses appearance and reality as a stepping stool for further dealings in the future. Richard, the anti-hero, uses his physical appearance as a driving force for evil traits and deceive4s others into thinking that it makes him weaker. His contrasting treatment of women perfectly illustrates how well he can adjust roles when required. He is the master of deception as his opening soliloquy proves. It is what is said in private that reveals to the audience what Richard's true intentions are and it is what is said in public that reflect lies. Shakespeare makes this link early on so that Richards changing won't fool the audience. Shakespeare mirrors appearance and reality through the manipulation of religion to show the extent that Richard will go to obtain what he requires. Appearance and reality is important because it shows that Richard is a character of dual interpretations and Shakespeare makes sure Richard uses it continually so that his character continues to fuel interest for the audience. Appearance and reality is a vital tool in the play as it not only plays a huge part in shaping events in the play but it also reveals future events that are to take place. ...read more.

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