Richard III

Essay by majam01 February 2006

download word file, 6 pages 3.0

Downloaded 24 times

Richard III, from Shakespeare's history play "King Richard the Third", is the perfect embodiment of a political monster. He represents evil in the state--he is the incarnation of the inauspicious power and the symbol of a devilish nihilism. The monster also plays the role of a social magnifying glass. It represents the physical exaggeration of moral defects. Richard III is a monster because he is immoral and ridicules honour and virtue so as to reach his goal. Richard's physical appearance reflects his moral monstrosity. The King depicts himself when he says:

DUKE OF GLOSTER:"I, that am rudely stampt, and want love's majesty

To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;

I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,

Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,

Deform'd, unfinisht…"


Richard of Gloster's physique reveals the tensions present in the Elizabethan society. The tyrant concentrates all the Elizabethan terrors on himself, he is an allegory, with several themes: ambition, succession to the throne, violence, mourning, vengeance, illusion and treachery.

He wants to become a king whatever the price may be, thus, the murder becomes his most efficacious way to get power and lies his favourite figure of speech. Richard's physical monstrosity reflects his moral monstrosity but it is well worth noting that his intelligence is considerable; he is the Devil personified. Monstrosity and deformity teach us that minorities should be respected. The monster can be regarded as a different being or an abnormal person but must still be considered as a real human. The monster is a difference with regard to a general perception of the world but under a hideous appearance, they evoke humanity. Richard's attitude was dictated by the others' looks. He was physically deformed and developed a mental armour to protect himself from the others' ferocity: Nature is responsible...