Characteristics of Richard III

Essay by Fieza April 2007

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Richard was the son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York and Cecily Neville. He was born on 2 October 1452 at Fotheringay Castle. He married Anne Neville. He has two brothers, George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence and King Edward IV. He was also known as Gloucester, duke of Gloucester and later becomes King Richard III. He succeeded to the throne of England on June 1483. King Richard III was famous because of he is the main suspect in the murder of the Princes in the Tower. Richard III was first introduced in Henry VI where he announces how he will metaphorically hew his way to the throne by changing shapes and setting the "murderous Machiavel" to school.

In Richard III, Richard is the major character in which he is both the protagonist of the story and its major villain. Richard can be seen as an intense exploration of the psychology of evil.

However, towards the end of the play, Richard became more self-reflective and complicated. Richard was described as small and little of stature, his body is greatly deformed, one shoulder higher than the other, his face small which resembles man who is malice, fraud and deceit. He was born with the defect and an unnatural birth.

"I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion,Cheated of feature by dissembling Nature,Deformed, unfinished, sent before my timeInto this breathing world scarce half made up...."(Act I, Scene I, Line 19-21)One of Richard's characteristics is that he is a master at mischief-making and wordplay which can be compared to vice in the medieval morality plays.

"Thus, like the formal Vice, IniquityI moralize two meanings in one word."(Act III, Scene I, Line 82-83)Richard's character is evil from the beginning of the play until the end. His evilness can be seen in Act I...