Richard III

The Significance of Courting Anne in Richard III College

In Richard III, a morality play by William Shakespeare, the “undefeatable” characteristic of the vice excites the audience by allowing the main character to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks and get away with them. The action of Richard wooing Anne launches the plot into a chain of extraordinarily doubtful events, while skyrocketing Richard’s confidence, which shapes his character and emotions. Both of these things drive the play forward and capture the audience.

In the scenes preceding the given passage, Richard revealed his quest for the crown, and declared he would stop at nothing to obtain it. He already imprisoned his brother, and declared his wish to maliciously legitimize his connection to the throne by courting the widowed princess. At a time before the scope of the play, Richard arranged the murders of both Anne’s husband, Edward, and Edward’s father Henry VI. Understandably, Anne feels resentment toward Richard for killing these men. As she enters the scene with the coffin of Henry VI, she curses Richard for their murders, and prays that any child he ever has will be sick, and that any women he ever marries will be as unhappy as she is—this is ironic considering the turn of events that immediately follows.


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