Dominant Themes Within Richard Iii

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There are several themes within the play Richard III. What is a theme one might ask? According to a theme is a “unifying idea, image, or motif, repeated or developed throughout a work.” This essay however, seeks to focus on three; Deception, Love and Family Relationships and Greed for Power. The use of these themes will be highlighted using examples of diction, figurative language and features of drama found within the play. Firstly, Deception is a major theme within the play. Despite Richard’s physical deformity he was still charismatic and could effectively play with people’s emotions. Richard, after killing Anne’s husband seeks to gain her hand in marriage but was cursed by her saying "Never hung poison on a fouler toad. Out of my sight! Thou dost infect mine eyes.” In spite of her obvious dislike towards him, he successfully wins her over by falsely proclaiming his love for her saying “Your beauty was the cause of that effect; Your beauty: which did haunt me in my sleep.” The diction used in this scene highlights Richard’s deceiving skills. In the beginning of this scene Anne’s dislike to him is evident when she uses ‘black magician” metaphorically to describe Richard. However in the latter part of the scene we see her demeanour to him gradually softens despite him being her husband’s killer which is highly significant; “With all my heart; and much it joys me too, To see you are become so penitent.” Another example of Richards’s skill in deception is the scene when he tries to persuade Elizabeth that he loves her daughter and that he shall marry her. Just like Anne her approach towards him was hostile given that she believed he was the reason for her sons’ downfall. However, Richard once again succeeds in manipulating her into believing he loves her daughter; “thou dost love my daughter from
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