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Richard Iii : Attractiveness of the Character

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ajagota7
Words 875
Pages 4
The appeal of a character should not be measured by his morals, but by the alluring aspects he brings to the story. In the story Richard III, this saying clearly illustrates that even though Richard is guilty of atrocious crimes, he is still the most attractive character in the play. This is because he is a very developed and unpredictable character whose intricate mindset adds another layer of depth to the story. Being the central character, Richard is very complex which adds to people’s fascination of him. Richard’s deep psychology of evil adds a layer of interest to his character. “Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace, have no delight to pass away the time, unless to spy my shadow in the sun and descant on mine own deformity: 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.”(Richard, I. i. 24-31) Richard becomes evil because of his feelings from birth, and this psychological behaviour intrigues people with his various bouts of anger. Richard’s development is also seen in his monologues when confessing all his evil thoughts. “He cannot live, I hope, and must not die… …When they are gone, then must I count my gains.” (Richard, I. i. 146-163) These long monologues where Richard outlines his plans, contributes to the audience’s experience of Richard and leads to an increased interest in his character. Richard’s determined motivation and perseverance also lead to viewers’ enhanced attraction to him in the play. “Chop his head. Something we will determine. And look when I am king, claim thou of me the earldom of Hereford and all the movables whereof the king my brother was possessed.” (Richard, III, ii, 196-200) Although many people have the belief that evil won’t prevail, Richard’s determined personality begins to question this belief, leading people to grow more curious about his character. Despite Richard’s conviction for terrible crimes, his development as a character increases the audience’s interest in his character. Another factor contributing to the viewers’ attraction to Richard is his highly unpredictable emotions. Richard isn’t depicted as a stereotypical villain who is only filled with anger. He also shows himself to be capable of feeling remorse. “Look what is done, cannot now be amended…” (Richard, IV, iv, 295) This feeling of remorse baffles the audience because it was previously unthinkable to see Richard feeling the slightest amount of remorse. This twist, however, engages the audience making him the most likeable character. Richard is also seen acting seductive which baffles viewers because his character seems so cold and distant from the world. “Your bedchamber” (Richard, I, ii, 115) The moment Richard says this, the viewers’ interest in him grows because they learn that he can be a seductive person who isn’t as aloof as previously thought. Richard also surprises the audience with his treachery. “Relenting fool and shallow, changing woman. How now, what news?” (Richard, IV, iv, 436-437) After his long and deep monologue about remorse, Richard seems to have changed, however, yet again he surprises the viewers by reverting back to his treacherous self. This furthers the audience’s attraction to him because of his intricate personality and unpredictable emotions. The entire plot of the play is based on Richard’s plot to become king, and his intricate mindset makes the plot a much more interesting story. Despite him saying that he cannot prove a lover, he acts as a lover as part of his plot to claim the throne. “Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine.” (Richard, I, ii, 154) Richard adds an aspect of love to the story which makes the viewer curious and interested in his character, to wonder if he truly does have genuine feelings or not. Richard then continues on with his killings, but also, he finds who his enemies are through the help of others. “It is a reeling world indeed, my lord, and I believe will never stand upright, till Richard wear the garland of the realm.” (Catesby, III, ii, 38-40) Richard acquires many allies and creates a great network of people to achieve his goal. This is very interesting because the viewers’ become captivated by Richard’s plot, making him the most attractive character. After Richard becomes king he continues to surprise the audience. Despite Buckingham being his loyal ally, he discards him without a second thought. “And it is thus? Repays he my deep service with such contempt? Made I him king for this? Oh, let me think on Hastings and be gone to Brecknock, while my fearful head is on” (Buckingham, IV, iii, 102-105) Richard shows that his complex plans are always kept to himself and no one truly knows what he might do next. All of these elaborate efforts from Richard contribute in making him the most prominent character in the play.
Richard, as the main role, is not only the most important, but also the most attractive character in the play. Despite his atrocious acts he adds much more depth to the story. He is a highly developed character with unpredictable emotions whose convoluted plans add layers of mystery and curiosity to the story.

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