That part of the scene amply depicts Richard giving incomplete orders and then forgetting his original orders, this shows his absentmindedness, which he did not have before. To me this shows how Richard is slowly slipping away from his original sharp minded, witty and humorous self. The penultimate thing which is shown in Richard is the exact oppositeness to Richmond. Richmond’s camp is shown to be orderly and overall alright but Richard’s camp is in dismay and Richard himself isn’t his usual self. Not only this but Richmond’ camp pray before the battle while Richard’s do not. Through the direct comparison between the two camps I feel that Richard is the exact opposite to Richmond.
The final this which is shown in the play is Richard fighting to his death. Throughout the whole play everyone doubts Richard as a nice person, as a trustworthy person but no one doubts Richard’s place in the battle field. That is the one positive image that Shakespeare leaves us with, that Richard had a place on the battle field. But after close scrutiny it becomes ironic that Richard killed the previous king to help his brother get the throne and now he is killed himself, so maybe Shakespeare is trying to say that the one place where there are no lies or deceits is the battle fields.
In the Olivier version of the film I, however, believe that in this play Shakespeare is asking the question is Richard evil because he is deformed or is he deformed because he is evil? Because of his constant referral to Richard’s evil crimes, through the various characters, and the fact that Richard’s deformity is also highlighted, through various characters including his mother. The first image is that of the crown and so this emphasises the crown and its worth, then the next person is Richard, this is connected with the crown scene and therefore you have the impression of a lust for the crown.
The fact that Olivier chose to emphasise the crown so much clearly depicts Richard’s total obsession with it and that this obsession is the main point of the play according to Olivier. The McKellan version of the film portrays Richard as Hitler this in itself shows how ruthless and willing to kill Richard I thought to have been. Having said this, Richard never committed any of the murders himself and he also had nightmares where all the people that had bee murdered through him haunted him. I believe that Shakespeare was trying to display a slight amount of humanity left in Richard through these two facts.
I, however, believe that in this play Shakespeare is asking the question is Richard evil because he is deformed or is he deformed because he is evil? Because of his constant referral to Richard’s evil crimes, through the various characters, and the fact that Richard’s deformity is also highlighted, through various characters including his mother. Finally I would like consider the historical influences that could have shaped Shakespeare’s writing. Henry VII claims to the throne were insecure. His ancestral lineage was through a woman. Therefore it was essential for Henry VII and his son Henry VIII to destroy Richard’s reputation.
During Henry VII’s time writers stressed that Richard was a usurper and a murderer. In Henry VIII’s time two histories were written Sir Thomas More’s and (through request from Henry VIII) Polydore Vergil’s history. These versions of the facts were Shakespeare’s resources, all written through the Tudor’s, all considering God’s involvement. Since they were superstitious times I believe Shakespeare would have believed that the ‘historical documents’ were correct as Henry VII did gain the throne, he wouldn’t have if he didn’t deserve to. Another major factor in Shakespeare’s writing was the fact that he was also writing during the reign of a Tudor and so wouldn’t write anything negative about her father.