Imagine you are directing a performance of Richard lll. You are the working with the actors on the climax of the scene in which Richard puts pressure on Lady Anne to marry him.
Write directors notes in which you explain how you would want this part of the scene to be performed and also how you make it convincing and absorbing for your audience.
I think that the thing which makes this scene so powerful is the fact that Anne gives in to Richard’s ways after she knows that he killed her husband and her father-in-law. What makes it even more powerful is that we, the audience, find it hard to believe a modern woman would give in to Richard that quickly, or at all. Also we know that the only reason he is trying to marry her is to get closer to the crown. We know this because he says:
‘‘The readiest way to make the wench amends
Is to become her husband and her father,
The which will I, not all so much for love,
As for another secret close intent’’
I think that in this scene, Richard is so much more powerful as a person than Anne is. In this scene Richard is kind of like a sexual magnet and Anne is being pulled into his charms and is forgetting what terrible things Richard has done o her and her family. I think that Anne is quite like a modern woman in the way that if a man tells her that he loves her she will forget about everything he has done to her because she is so flattered. Also she falls into Richards arms more easily because she is feeling very insecure seeing as she has no one left to care and protect her because of Richard killing both her husband Edward, and her father-in-law to King Henry Vl.
In the Ian Mckellen version of the play I think the scene is made much more climatic by the fact that the body of Edward (Anne’s husband) was there the whole scene, reminding her of what Richard had done. During the whole of this scene I think that Richard was trapping Anne psychologically. Near the end of this scene Richard is skipping through the mortuary and dancing, laughing and shaking people’s hands. I think this show’s that Richard is very happy astonished about what he had just achieved. This is because he thinks he wouldn’t have a chance because of the murders he had committed towards Anne’s family and because he really puts him self down about his deformity. This is made more dramatic by the fact that the war has only just ended and people who are watching Richard dance about and shaking his hand are very upset about the loved ones which they lost during the war.
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During the part of the scene where Anne and Richard are together, the technique of ‘‘wooing’’ Anne which I thought was best was when he laid his breast open to her to kill him with a blade but she drops it and he says: ‘‘take up the sword again or take up me’’. But then she replies ‘‘I will not be thy executioner’’. As this did not work he then says ‘‘Then bid me kill myself and I will do it’’. At this point Richards technique backfires on him because she says in reply ‘‘I have already’’. Now Richard has to think fast and put his skills into action and smoothly replies,
‘‘That was in thy rage.
Speak it again, and even with the word,
This hand, which for thy love did kill thy love,
Shall for thy kill a far truer love,
To both their deaths shalt thou be accessory.
The video which I think was most believable about Anne marrying Richard had to be the Laurence Olivia version. This is because it is set back in the real time of Richard lll. The Ian Mckellen version is set in quite a modern age and people find it very hard to believe that a modern woman would fall for Richard’s ways just like that. I think that the Ian Mckellen version was better in some ways though because after getting Anne to marry him he celebrates by skipping and telling people about it, and finds it a great achievement, whilst in the Laurence Olivia version he doesn’t. I think that in the Laurence Olivia version he keeps it as quiet disbelief.
If I was producing this scene I would set it in Shakespearian times because I think it would be more believable to the audience. This is because the modern every day man and woman would not act like Richard and Anne do in this scene. For instance we don’t expect a modern man to be as evil as to marry a woman he hardly knows just so he can get to what he wants and doesn’t care about what happens to her, like Richard does to Anne. I would have the dead bodies of both Prince Edward and King Henry Vl present in this scene with there wounds still as bad as when they were killed so to make the scene more dramatic when Anne accepts Richard’s hand in Marriage.
I think that in the part of the scene were Anne curses herself should be more emphasized so that the audience realise what she has done. This is in her first speech of the scene when she says,
‘‘If ever he have wife, let her be more miserable by the death of him I am made by my young Lord and thee.’’. What Anne does not realise is that in saying this she is cursing herself because she marries Richard later on in the scene. Anne realises she has cursed herself later on in act 4 scene 1 when she tells Elizabeth about how she had cursed herself and how he will be shortly rid of her. I would call this dramatic irony.
I think this scene is made more exciting by the fact that at the beginning of the scene Anne is saying things like ‘‘Fouler than heart can think thee, thou carnst make no excuse current but to hang thyself’’ but only a few minutes later she is accepting Richards proposal to marry him. I think that towards the end of Richards final speech he is trying to gain sympathy for himself by mocking his own appearance.
The advice I would give the actor playing Richard is that when he wins Anne’s hand in marriage he should act a lot more triumphant and pleased with him self. He should do this when he says: ‘‘and to win her, all the world to nothing! HA!’’. The reason I think he should be so happy is because he has won Lady Anne’s hand in marriage after tearing her heart apart and because he has a deformity which he is really sensitive about.
If I was to give advice to the actor playing Anne I would tell her not to act so fooled by Richard. Richard only wants to marry her for a better shot at the throne and I think she knows it but doesn’t want to say anything because she feels lonely and insecure.
I think that Anne doesn’t really want to marry Richard but when he says: ‘‘Take up the sword again or take up me’’ she is rushed and doesn’t want to kill him. I think that we see that Anne is not completely fooled by Richard when we see him with the blade to his throat and she pauses before saying: ‘‘Well, well put up your sword’’
I think that if Anne didn’t act so fooled it would work well because Richard has not encountered any real problems so far in the play.
Apart from this advice there is not really any more I would give because I think the rest is played perfectly!