King Henry

This does not need much explanation to show why it is evil as he has a death wish on both his brothers, but doesn’t want them to die until they fully hate one another. In scene 2 we find out about another two murders, when we meet Lady Anne. She is waiting with her late husband’s. Edward, Prince of Wales, coffin. He was murdered by Richard, as was his father, King Henry. Richard intercepts the coffin and tells them to “set it down”. As expected Anne is not pleased with this interference and she calls him a “foul devil” and, maybe more offensively, ” thou lump of foul deformity”. Anne also has a death wish on Richard but does not have the heart to carry it out.

Richard is manipulative. He manages to get Anne to wear his ring and later to be his wife, even though she hates him. In a soliloquy after Anne moves on with the coffin, He says, “I’ll have her; but I will not keep her long”. This is a heartless thing to say and we wonder if has the ability to love. “Out devil! … Thou kill’dst my husband Henry in the tower.” This was the angry cry of the widowed Queen Margaret and “devil” was used once again. She also refers to him as “bottled spider”. This is a good use of animal imagery as spiders are a hated creature but are very unimportant. Imagery is affective as it illustrates a vivid picture to the audience and the build up of animal imagery supports the wicked nature of Richard. Richard already has many enemies and it is only scene 2. His reputation is already soiled at this early stage, and with just reason.

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Dramatic irony is used in scene 3, when Richard tells the audience of his plan to turn people against the Queen. He talks of “clothing his naked villainy” and that he “seems a saint when most I play a devil”. We see his plan in action in Act 2, when he turns Buckingham against the Queen. Buckingham is obviously converted when he says, “We wait upon your grace” this is achieved when Richard talks about how he thinks that the queen was responsible for Clarence’s death.

Richard has great pleasure in informing the King and Queen of Clarence’s death, yet another evil thing committed by Richard. He is devious, as he acts happy until the Queen says, “I do beseech your grace to take out Brother Clarence to your grace.” This is when he tells them and accuses the Queen of doing “injury to scorn his corse”. He has deliberately waited for the Queen to mention him and for a reason to abuse the Queen. This is very two-faced and he is a lot like this when the King is not in the room but is very pleasant to the Queen when he is.

I definitely believe that Richard does deserve the reputation he is given. Many people dislike him but all have good reasons. I also think Richard anticipated that he would not be liked by many when he started planning to seize the throne. By the end of the book Richard has no friends and only his servants who are probably just scared or in need of a job. People that he befriended during the play like Buckingham had left by the end because Richard refused to give him what he had promised. Another reason was that Richard had grown to dislike him because he had failed to kill the princes as a matter of heart, he fled for the fear of losing his life.

All of his family disliked him, especially his mother, who at one time says, “Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end; shame serves thy life and doth thy death attend”. His wife hates him and refers to him as a ” foul devil” and a toad. Another person who is not a fan. His best friend Buckingham walks out on him and starts a rebellion against him, which eventually brings him down. I think he was an evil man and deserved everything he got. He made his reputation what it was. Although I do think that he may already have been disliked and feared because of his appearance and this is what drove him to be so desperate to get the throne .His reputation was all part of the play as it is a moralistic play. The moral would probably be a mixture of, “Don’t judge a person by their appearance”, ” Do not hurt, or kill” and “do not covet others possessions.” These are all traditional morals and are all very important.

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