To What Extent is Richard's Skilful Use of Language the Main Factor in His Rise of Power?

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To What Extent is Richard’s Skilful Use of Language the Main Factor in His Rise of Power?

 Richard III is a play written by Shakespeare, detailing a man’s journey on his way to gaining the throne, and ultimately his death. Richard’s rise to power can be attributed to several different factors, and while his achievements owe a great deal to his use of language, other reasons can also be considered. This essay aims to identify and analyse the ways in which he gains his success.

 Richard himself is a disfigured man, and while Shakespeare doesn’t state exactly how deformed the man is, it’s certainly enough for him to be looked down upon by others. Yet he still manages to marry Lady Anne, even though he openly admits he killed her father in law and her husband in battle. How does he manage to do this? Through a mixture of his spectacular use of language and acting skills, he manages to woo Anne to his side, and she eventually agrees to marry him. In act 1, Richard and Anne exchange words rapid (stichomythia). This speech between them shows the different techniques Richard employs, such as repetition and antithesis.

Anne:                 Oh, wonderful, when devils tell the truth!

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Richard:         More wonderful, when angels are so angry.

While she speaks of hell and revenge against the murderer of her family, he responds by talking about heaven and forgiveness. His quick replies, turning her own words against her slowly break down her barriers and she eventually gives in. By flattering people using different techniques, such as antithesis and puns, Richard is able to convince and persuade people that he is someone who he is not. For example: the caring and loving brother; and the man who wishes to refuse the crown. In this way, people do not suspect Richard, ...

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