Seduction in Richard 3

Essay by TaKarraLCollege, UndergraduateA+, February 2004

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Richard, Duke of Gloucester, is a very intelligent man. He knows how to put people in positions where only he well benefit. Richard goes around manipulating all those who will be manipulated, and if they are not willing they are disposed of. However, it is easier to do this to people who are already weak in mind and heart and need him as a dependent. Clear cases of this can be seen with his seduction of Lady Anne and with the persuasion of the citizens.

At first Lady Anne despises Richard as she should, but Richard masterfully chips away at her until he gets what he wants. Let's look at what she knows. Lady Anne is well aware of Richard's involvement in the murder of both her husband and father in law. Richard admits to the murders to Anne in telling that "[her] beauty was the cause of the effect...To

undertake the death of all the world so I might your sweet bosom" (I.ii 130-133). Throughout this encounter with Richard, Anne could have at anytime walked away from Richard, but it seems as though his words intrigued and flattered her more than they offend her. Richard bombards Lady Anne with compliments, calling her the "divine perfection of a woman"(79) and telling her that his "eyes could not endure [her] beauty"(137). Richard, to show his devotion to her, bears his chest to Anne and tells her to kill him if she turns down his offer because life would be to painful without her. She starts for him with the sword, but drops it stating that "[she] will not be [his] executioner" (203). Previous to this Richard had told her that "twas thy heavenly face that set me on [to kill her husband]"(200). Again, he tells this to Anne...