Richard Iii Critical Analysis

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Despite its late 20th century context, Looking For Richard(LFR) enables the audiences to connect with Shakespeare’s Richard III and to appreciate the central concerns of the play through the exploration of the texts and their values. Through these concepts we begin to understand the way in which context shapes the events and issues of their time. In looking at the nature of evil and the depiction of women, we examine the way both texts are shapes through the patriarchal values and natures of their times. Shakespeare presents a complex view of the nature of evil, suggesting that the battle is fought in everyone, rather than some people being purely evil. The notion of free will is an idea that breaks free from Christian ideas as expressed in morality plays; this is emphasized in Richard’s soliloquy “I am determined to prove a villain”. Nobility in Shakespeare are portrayed as corrupt, he goes as far as suggesting that all of the nobility have committed bad deeds and that Richard is the worst. This reflects through the growing secularization and even democratic values. Shakespeare presents the idea that the battle between good and evil is fought in everyone and that everyone has a conscience, before the death of Clarence the murderers question themselves, and when one of the murderers says to Clarence – “I am a man as you are”. Queen Elizabeth is Shakespeare’s ruler; Shakespeare deliberately depicts Richard in a bad light. The use of animal imagery through the chain of being – “thou elvish – marked, abortive rooting hog” and the way Richard is portrayed as having a hunchback by Shakespeare is used to accentuate his inner cruelty and cynicism. Richard’s utter duplicity and his ability to fool others are qualities associated with the Christian devil and with vice in the medieval morality plays – ‘I am like formal vice inequity’. Shakespeare suggests that everyone has

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