Richard III Malpractice

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In Shakespeare's history play, Richard III, the eponymous Richard is the most prominent villain, as evidenced by his bitter, malicious characterization and intelligent manipulation in achieving his goal of usurping the throne. However, although the titular villain is the most obvious malefactor, the other characters have their own share of malpractice, and while Richard continues to plot and scheme against the other characters, they are seeking revenge, most often through the use of curses, for what was done wrong to them. This creates a play thematically based around the cycle of retributions and inexorable revolutions of Fortune's Wheel, in which curses are the avenue to divine justice. One character who exemplifies this idea is Queen Margaret,…show more content…
She begins by calling him "dog" (1.3.232) and the "trouble of the poor world's peace" (1.3.232). Margaret uses the fact that Richard destroyed her family, and is still causing havoc, as justification for seeking justice through her curses. Though Margaret utters a series of curses to Richard that will adversely affect his future, the most striking and worst aspect of the curse is when Margaret wishes that "the worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul" (1.3.233). Richard openly enjoys being evil and has a blatant disregard for his conscience, as evidenced when he bluntly proclaims that "[he is] determined to prove a villain" (1.1.30). Therefore, inflicting a conscious upon Richard was the worst curse in regards to what leads to his ultimate downfall. This is proven by the fact that when he wakes in Act V after being visited by ghosts before the battle with Richmond, he has an argument with his own conscious: "O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me... Richard loves Richard, that is, I [am] I. Is there a murderer here? No. Yes, I am" (5.3.191-196). Just as prophesized by Margaret, Richard's soul is deteriorating due to the newly found presence of a conscience: he begins to doubt himself, while still striving for the throne. His internal struggle with his conscience is further evidenced by the fact that in Richard's monologue, 5.3.189-218, there are two opposing voices: one seeking justice against himself, while the other is still capable of evil plotting. Ultimately, it was conflict with his conscience that helped lead him to his ultimate downfall as a king and a person, further fulfilling Margaret's
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