It’s as if Shakespeare is trying to portray the character of Richard III as someone who likes to tamper with people’s lives and generally desecrate them. This almost completely contrasts with how Richard acts around other people, and it is as if when he is alone is an extensively different person. These actions repeat themselves when Richard comes across Lady Anne. Whereas at the end of the last scene, Richard was scheming that he would just marry her as a way to further himself as a means of achieving the crown, when he actually speaks to her, his persona entirely changes.
His spiteful and bitter ways all turn to sweet adulations, and although as the audience we have witnessed Richard’s many bad conspiracies, we are still fooled by this new portrayal of Richard. This portrayal of him is charming and perhaps even alluring. The language he uses is all so sweet, but yet so contriving and canny, for example ‘He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband / Did it to help thee to a better husband. ‘ This language shows that he almost tries to excuse himself of killing someone as a way to admit love, which he carries on with.
He does not admit that he just killed him for being in a bad mood at the time. However, he easily entices Anne, enough so that she can go from loathing him and wanting him dead, as to later on wearing Richard’s ring. His character is just that manipulative that it is so effective for him to get whatever he wants. This then portrays him to seem as if he suffers from some sort of schizophrenia, where he can’t help but be an ever-changing character. Then once again, as soon as he is alone, the evil side of him returns. Already, there is a pattern emerging from Richard’s behaviour.
Although at the beginning of the play he moans about not being able to have a lover, once he has proved he is fully capable of coaxing Anne, he then appears smug. ‘Was ever woman in this humour wooed? / Was ever woman in this humour won? / I’ll have her, but I will not keep her long. ‘ He does not care of the damage he has caused her already, and therefore shall not care about the damage he shall cause her in the future as he has just won her heart. Again, this portrayal of Richard shows him not only to be manipulative, but also obnoxious and repugnant.
As well as this, as it appears at the beginning of the play the reason for his plotting dwells on the fact that he cannot prove a lover, however, proving that he is more than capable of proving a lover implies that this is not the true reasoning behind his schemes, and again portrays Richard as sadistic, and rather hard to understand psychologically. However, in Act 1, scene 3, although Richard carries on with his manipulative ways, they are introduced in a different way. He tries to portray himself as the ‘good guy’ and points the blame onto the others.
In this scene there is a lot of contrasting emotions and anger between Richard and then both of the Queens in turn. Before the arrival of Queen Margaret, it is Richard who is shown hatred. Then to this hatred, he acts in a very defensive manner. He tries to use the idea of his deformity as a way to get the others to sympathize or at least empathize with him. As well as this, he uses very insidious remarks to make the others feel bad, ‘Who is it that complains unto the King / That I, forsooth, am stern, and love them not?
By holy Paul, they love his grace but lightly / That fill his ears with such dissentious rumours. ‘ He twists the others actions to make them feel bad for troubling the ill King with petty arguments. Yet, when Margaret appears all this hatred, from everyone in this scene, is directed to her, which again is used as an advantage for Richard. However, he is still portrayed as the heinous villain as Margaret expresses her true enmity for him, ‘Why strew’st thou sugar on that bottled spider / Whose deadly web ensnareth thee about?
‘ It is only Margaret who can see Richard for the devious person he is, yet the irony in that she is the only person that no one seems to listen to just adds to the portrayal Richard has of being so cunning. The overall character of Richard is very hard to understand, as there are many different sides to him, an advantage to him as it enables him to get almost exactly what he wants, with generally no one being any wiser and figuring out this scheming side to him. It is Richard’s determined mind, and lack of guilt that make him a hated character.
However, what is even more chilling is the fact that even this most contriving of characters can be liked by the audience due to his powerful, and intelligent speeches. It is still this dominant character that confuses the minds of many people by his many personalities, and it is this character, and his many different portrayals that grips many readers to the play. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Richard III section.