Richard III Character Analysis

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William Shakespeare opens the play with a famous soliloquy, spoken by the main character, Richard III. In the soliloquy, Richard describes his physical appearance, shared his darkest thoughts, and reveals his grey soul. The Duke of Gloucester is well aware of his anomalies. And even though it is a time for celebration, even though they have defeated the army of King Henry VI, the son of York feels unworthy of woman’s love. He describes himself as deformed and ugly. Because of his rude shape and uncharismatic face, even dogs bark at him as he passes by them. In the play, Shakespeare created the character of Richard monstrous, and in order to seem even more “villain-like,” he portrayed his body as deformed, with severely uneven shoulders, hunched…show more content…
He describes his back as crooked, and his left shoulder higher than the other. More also supports the fact that Richard was born with his full set of teeth, and feet spread forward. It is true that while growing up, Richard had problems with his back, but his condition wasn’t that much acute. In 2012, Richard’s remainings were finally found beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England. His bones were examined by researchers of the Leicester’s University. Richard’s spine was twisted, indeed. He suffered from a severe scoliosis, and had a hump on his back for about 70 or 75 degrees. The hump was not as severe as described by Shakespeare and More, and it certainly wasn’t that ugly. However, because of this condition, his shoulders were a little bit uneven. The skeleton of the King, did not show any signs of uneven hips which might cause limping, or any walking troubles. His idiopathic scoliosis probably appeared after the age of ten, in his adolescent years. The curvature of his spine did affect his posture, and probably took a few centimeters of his true…show more content…
In a vision, disguised as nightmare, Clarence sees his terrible future. In this horrible dream, he drowns in the middle of a salty sea. While in reality, the character of Clarence is violently drowned in a barrel of sweet wine. Before his final moment, the unfortunate Clarence finally hears by the murderers that it was his dear brother Richard who stood behind his terrible doom. By twisting the story of who ordered the death of Clarence, Richard was villainized by Shakespeare. In reality, the historical figure of Clarence died not because of Richard’s orders, but because of the King’s orders. Even though Clarence was a son of York, later in life, he supported the Lancastrians. King Henry VI even made him second in line to the throne. Of course his own son was first in line. Edward IV was very mad because of that, but however, the quarrel ended with reconciliation. Clarence had a wife, Isabel, and after her death, Clarence’s mental state was not very stable. Richard’s influence and power started to grow, and Clarence was jealous of him. When Clarence wanted to marry Mary, the Duchess of Burgundy, King Edward IV objected against the marriage and Clarence left the

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