Shakespeare Masterfully Manipulates Our Reponse to Richard. Discuss

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Shakespeare masterfully manipulates our response to Richard. Discuss. “Now is the winter of our discontent; Made glorious summer by this son of York.” From the opening lines of the play, Shakespeare manoeuvres the audience into forming an opinion of Richard. His use of paronomasia immediately highlights his skill with language and alerts the responder to the fact that this is no ordinary protagonist. Richard is presented as a character both deformed in appearance and in spirit. He has the aim of becoming King at all costs and Shakespeare depicts him as thoroughly unprincipled and vicious. Primarily he is motivated by boundless ambition to gain and keep the crown. Utterly heartless, he does not hesitate to betray his own brothers, devising the murder of Clarence, deceiving and damaging the reputation of Edward IV, and orchestrating the death his own nephews. Shakespeare manipulates our response to Richard by implying in the text that he poisoned his wife Anne in order to gain a political marriage to his niece, Elizabeth of York. He is a master of dissembling and a man undeniably without charm, regardless his physical deformity. Finally, he possesses a sense of irony and a sardonic wit, which extensively explains his connection with audiences and readers. Shakespeare’s use of soliloquies enables us to see Richard’s duplicitous nature. He masterfully manipulates our response into having a grudging admiration for his skilful use of language. Richard disguises himself throughout the play from a devoted brother to a pious convert. He has a constant burning desire for personal power and satisfies his aims, regardless of who he murders. “And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover, To entertain these fair well-spoken days, I am determined to prove a villain, And hate the idle pleasures of these days.” (I.1.28-31) When he finally becomes King of England,
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