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GCSE: Richard III

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  1. Why were the crises of 1051 and 1052 significant?

    The crises were very significant in that they inevitably brought the relentless vendetta to a head. The key factor in this argument was the death of Edward's brother Alfred in 1036. Alfred, whilst on a conquest with Edward, was captured and handed over to his death by Godwin as an offering to c**t. This sparked outrage between the two from then on. As McLynn puts it, "Edward still blamed Godwin for Alfred's death and hated him for it." So already we can build up a picture of an almost very weary and cautious relationship, constantly wondering if Edward is ever going to seek his revenge.

    • Word count: 2442
  2. On What Basis were the various claims to the throne made in 1066?

    This was a belief, which had been mounted on many events in his short-lived life. William was desperate to become King and in all Norman sources there is constant writings of how he was cheated out of Edward's succession. William was very clever in gaining support for his claim and he showed this when Harold went on his voyage to Normandy. William knew that in order to make his claim that bit stronger than his counterpart Harold he had to gain the support of the one person no man could defeat, this was the Pope.

    • Word count: 2548
  3. What impressions of Richard’s character does the audience obtain in Act I of Richard III? Does he have any positive qualities to enable him to win our interest, admiration or sympathy?

    This means they have a certain oneness with Richard during the play. Due to this closeness they are allowed to know vaguely what Richard will do but they don't know the intimate details or the how. He explains his deep feelings about his involuntary isolation. He feels hideously ugly and because of this no one will want to have s*x or any type of relationship with him. In lines 1 - 13 he says how jealous of society and of the beautiful people he is by talking of how good is this "glorious summer" of peace is in a sarcastic manner.

    • Word count: 2671
  4. How Genuine was the Relationship Between Richard and Buckingham?

    He shows here that his true character is obviously not as a troublemaker and so is loath to make a decision that will upset anyone. However, the speech that Shakespeare gives him definitely reveals his final decision- his allegiance with Richard and the Yorks against Margaret: he mocks her, answering Richard's: "What doth she say, my lord of Buckingham?" with "Nothing that I respect my gracious lord.". At the end of the scene when Richard has a soliloquy, he states: "I do beweep many simple gulls; Namely, to Derby, Hastings and Buckingham..."

    • Word count: 2839
  5. ‘The tragedy of Richard III lies in the progressive isolation of its protagonist.’ Discuss.

    This essay will be based on tragedy defined as 'something happening that is sad, although inevitable' and 'a powerful person falling from power due to a flaw'. Richard's isolation becomes apparent from the very beginning of the play when he enters the stage alone and speaks directly to the audience rather than any character on stage. After this, he spends the entire duration of the play severing every single link that he has with any other person or object in the play in order to gain power.

    • Word count: 2025

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