It(TM)s All About the Wordplay: Shakespeare(TM)s Power of Language in Richard III

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Vivien Li

Mr. Vidrih

ENG 2D7 – 2B

09 April 2009

It’s All About the Wordplay: Shakespeare’s Power of Language in Richard III

"The pen is mightier than the sword", quoted by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, is a  , marking the power of language. The power of language can take many forms such as verbal and written communication. A written language can provide the reader a deeper understanding than verbal language. This offers more points of view, themes and insight. Similar to speaking, literature has structures which can create different style of writing to evoke responses. An author’s language is powerful if it can evoke responses from the audience. In Richard III, Shakespeare uses the English language to strongly influence readers to respond and developing multiple personalities of a character by using word structure and imagery.

One of the uses of powerful language is demonstrated when a round-character like Richard III is created. Shakespeare personifies him to be intelligent and complex, being able to hide his inner feelings by speaking calmly and kindly, but he is truly sadistic. This passage shows that his feeling of love for Clarence is false:

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CLARENCE. I know it pleaseth neither of us well.

RICHARD. Well, your imprisonment shall not be long.

            I will deliver you or else lie for you.

            Meantime, have patience.

CLARENCE. I must perforce. Farewell.

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. . . (I. i.113-120)

Even though Richard III is recognizable and plausible, as the events in the play progress, he encounters conflicts that result in the changes to his character. He panics and ...

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