How is Richard III Portrayed in the First Three Scenes of the Play?

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How is Richard III Portrayed in the First Three Scenes of the Play?

Richard III is supposedly known for his murderous yet manipulative ways. It is the character that has aroused many questions as to what type of personality he actually possessed. There are many words that could describe Richard III throughout this play. Yet Shakespeare wrote this play in the times of Queen Elizabeth, so as to how reliable they are as to show his true character, we cannot be certain. However, it is this play that outlines many of Richard’s qualities, and downfalls, and even in the very first three scenes of the play, one can get a very good idea of what the Elizabethans thought of Richard III.

        The play starts with Richard alone. This already can hint how Richard prefers to be. Yet with his soliloquy, we can get a much greater picture. From the very first few lines we can sense Richard’s bitterness towards his brother, the King ‘And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds /…He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber’ Not only does Richard envy his brother’s position as King, but he also believes that he does not do a good job of honouring this position. He carries on this soliloquy demonstrating even more bitterness, mainly targeted towards his own deformity and lack of love, to later hint towards his scheming nature ‘And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover / …I am determined to prove a villain’ His jealous personality, as well as his self-loathing, seems to be portrayed here. And already by this very first speech can we get to grasps with his nefarious designs of how to accomplish everything he so desires. However, as his Richard’s very clever speech. His use of poetic effects allows us to see how Richard is able to use his speech to very easily twist people’s perceptions. However this first soliloquy allows us to know what Richard feels, wants, and his plots, so as the audience, we are not to like this portrayal of Richard III.

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        However, this evil side of Richard disappears with the appearance of his other brother Clarence. With the news of Clarence being sent to the Tower of London, Richard’s attitude seems to change completely, even though it was he that had had him sent there. Again, Richard uses this sweet, manipulative way of speaking to not only deceive his brother, but also a guardsman when accused of speaking of treason, ‘We say that Shore’s wife hath a pretty foot, / A cherry lip, a bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue; / And that the Queen’s kindred are made gentlefolks.’ By the end ...

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