Betrayal, Remorse and Death: Richard Iii Act 3, Scene 4, Lines 79-107

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This passage is taken from Act 3, Scene 4, lines 79-107 of Richard III by William Shakespeare. In this excerpt, Hastings, is shown lamenting his choice to trust Richard while overlooking his friend Stanley’s warning. Hastings has long believed he could trust Richard as Richard portrays a friendly, unrealistic image of himself towards Hastings, leading him to trust Richard. However, Hastings is now getting a taste of reality when he is ordered to an execution by his dear friend Richard. The executors in this scene are Ratcliffe and Lovell; both act very indifferent throughout this whole ordeal. Whereas, Hastings begins to recall Margaret’s curses, as well as prophesies that suggest a miserable future in store for England if Richard becomes king. These recollections illustrate the compilations of emotions felt by Hastings due to the treachery on Richards’s part. This excerpt is separated into three predominant sections illustrating to the audience how Hastings is currently feeling. He begins by talking about the state of guilt he is presently feeling; followed by feelings of immense regret, and ending with frustration. A few lines are also said by the executers in this passage, Ratcliff and Lovell, who seem rather indifferent to the idea of assassinating Hastings. This is the culmination of the morale deterioration that has been demonstrated throughout the play as a reoccurring theme. Hastings boldly starts off this passage by using an epizeuxis. “Woe, woe for England! Not a whit for me,” (80). This rhetorical device is used to dramatize the sentence make a strong impact. Hastings pities England as he believes it is doomed if Richard is crowned king. Then Hastings goes on to say “For I, too fond, might have prevented this” (81). The burden of guilt Hastings is feeling is quite clear to see. He is blames himself for this misfortunate turn of events. This also
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