Richard III is the first text of Shakespeare's that I have ever read. I now feel that I somewhat realize the amazing talent of that one man. Shakespeare dissects the human being and creates a story form the pieces, weaving them together with an amazing way of getting a message across. The message in Richard III is that you must be a whole person; you must be in touch with your emotional/social self and your individual fight for power. A person must be able to understand compromise and the fact that things will not always work out the way that they want it to; they must be able to work with others. This does not mean to say that you have to abandon the individual power seeking aspect of yourself but that to gain your own power it takes more than just you to get there.
The means that Shakespeare conveys this message is through Richard III (in the beginning he had many names: Richard and Duke of Gloucester, but I am going to refer to him as Richard III).
Richard II is the extreme of the individual power seeking person, his emotional side is dead and he knows it, so force and betrayal are his only ways of gaining power, which is the only thing he wants in life.
In the beginning of the play I in a way could connect with Richard on some levels, he was charismatic and knew how to talk, but as the story unfolded things began to change. The turning point was Buckingham's unrest about being told to kill the two sons of the dead King Edward IV. This was the first instant that things were not going in the direction that Richard had anticipated, and he starts to unravel.
Immediately after Richard's panic is solidified more with his way of finding someone new to kill the two boys. A king is not expected to go around asking mere peasants if they know someone who will kill for money, but this is exactly what Richard did, asking a page of the name of a killer.
Throughout the rest of the play things only get worse for Richard as more and more people begin to realize what he is doing and want nothing to be a part of it.
At the end of the story there is going to be a battle between Kind Richard III and his forces (most only supporting through fear) and the Earl of Richmond, who knows what Richard has done and knows he must be defeated.
The night before the battle both Richard and Richmond had dreams. Richards was a nightmare, everyone he had ever had killed comes to him and says something and then says to die. In Richmond's dreams all the people Richard has killed come to him and wish him luck.
The next day is the battle, and as the dreams predicted Richmond is the victor and crowned the next king. The end of the battle comes when Richard, who is searching for Richmond finally finds him, they battle and Richard is slain, this is the end of Richard.