What kind of character is presented to us in the opening speech of Richard III? Pick out a few words and phrases that identify the kind of man that he is.
Well, this semester we are finally looking at the one and only William Shakespeare! I am eternally thankful for the opportunity to learn more about such a classic writer who possibly was the largest influence on the world’s literature. If you haven’t noticed already… I am a Shakespeare fan and Richard III is a play I have not yet explored. With the insightful wisdom of Michael and my fellow peers, I am very keen to dive deep into this unit and experience yet another, what I assume to be, a fantastic play by the Bard of Avon!
The opening speech seems like a great place to start when analysing the character of Richard. For centuries the commencement of a work stands as a crucial element in often showing the true colours of the persona. Although I have yet to finish reading the play and thankfully I haven’t come across any spoilers, I believe the perception the audience see of Richard here is his true authentic self; negative, troubled and deceptive. My prediction is that this almost prophecy like speech will come true by the end of the play. His negativity is underlined by his deep sense of self-sorrow for how he has been brought into the world and treated by his environment. This is seen in line 19 and 20 where he describes himself as being of “dissembling nature…deformed…unfinished” and “sent before my time” (Shakespeare).These lexical choices create great imagery of not only his physical appearance but also the roots of why Richard is so bitter on the inside. This is further layered my his true destructive nature where he advises the audience of his evil intentions to plot his brothers against each other. Here, in line 33 it is implied of Richard’s ultimate goal of gaining power. His ultimate image is exemplified in line 30 as he declares “I am determined to prove a villain”, again reinforcing the true kind of character Richard is; Evil.