Explore the methods Shakespeare uses during Richard’s opening soliloquy to reveal his true character

Essay by sparker_hkHigh School, 10th gradeC+, November 2014

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Explore the methods Shakespeare uses during Richard's opening soliloquy to reveal his true character

Shakespeare wrote Richard's opening soliloquy when ElizabeththeFirst was on the throne.She was the great grand-daughter of Henry of Richmond. The soliloquy was set in 1845, during the War of the Roses which was between the families of York and Lancaster. Shakespeare varies the techniques he uses to describe Richard as he uses groups of three, alliteration and metaphors to create a monstrous image of Richard in the minds of the audience.

Initially, in the opening section of the soliloquy, Shakespeare presents Richard as a proud man because he is celebrating his family's victory over Lancaster. This is evident in the opening section of the soliloquy when it says 'Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths, our bruised arms hung up for monuments'. This shows how pleased Richard is for the victory. Also Shakespeare uses alliteration in 'brows bound' to create extra effect.

Earlier in the soliloquy, Richard the Third seemed more joyful as he was still celebrating the victory. This is apparent when it is said that 'Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious by this sun of York'. Shakespeareusesa metaphorhere to highlight Richards view on Edward (brother of Richard), the metaphor used is 'sun', which is what Richard refers his brother to. Shakespeare implies that Richard is referring his brother as 'sun' because he wants to emphasize how bright his brother possibly is. In addition, also within 'Now is the summer of our discontent', could mean that the time of unhappiness is past therefore Richard initially comes across as a proud man. At this stage in the soliloquy, the audience would view Richard as a pleased man.

As we go through the soliloquy, the audience has a different reaction...