Richard III

The Remorseless Richard III College

In William Shakespeare’s Richard III, the protagonist and the central villain are one and the same, a power-hungry individual whose unrelenting ambition and lack of morality pose a lethal combination to anyone who stands between the tyrant and his crown. Arguably one of the most unscrupulous and dastardly characters of Shakespeare’s works, Richard III is seen throughout the play committing despicable acts from easily lying to set his machinations into motion to planning the murders of his relatives. The fact that Richard executes his schemes without the slightest itch of remorse is what truly completes his loathsome persona. The only time that the audience finds some humanity and regret in Richard is in the final act of the play when the man is frightened by a dream he has. It is through this midnight vision in V.iii.176-205 that Richard first experiences internal conflict and uncertainty about his actions. While he does express concern for his heinous crimes, Richard ultimately falls short of sympathy and redemption as he is solely concerned with himself and not his victims throughout the soliloquy.

Richard’s remorseful soliloquy is precipitated by a nightmare that visits him before his battle with Richmond. The cause of...

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