Richard III

In Richard's opening monologue, he refers to his unattractive appearance; this impression is repeated by other members of the play. What are the thematic purposes og having Richard be upleasing to the eye

Act 1 scene 1

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Richard's opening soliloquy frames much of the play, and reveals a great deal about the personality of Richard's character. The opening remarks are very logical in their progression: because Richard is deformed, he cannot be loved; because he cannot be loved, he must be a villain; because he must be a villain, he will strive for the throne. This logical progression is of course anything but logical. Rather, it hides the fact that for Richard, the deformity is merely an excuse to play the machiavel, a role which he enjoys.

The fact that the deformity is an excuse shines through in the second scene. For even though he claims he cannot be a lover, Richard manages to seduce Lady Anne under the worst circumstances imaginable. She is mourning her father's death with the coffin on the stage, and yet Richard manages to convince her to marry him. This improbable scene is executed by making Richard into an incredibly forceful character.