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The Speeches of Richmond and Richard in Shakespeare's Richard III - Essay Example

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Richard III William Shakespeare's historical play Richard III is based on the life of the last king of the Plantagenet dynasty Richard III. The play tells how Richard plotted and planned to become the king of England and how he was eventually defeated and killed in the battle of Bosworth Field by the Earl of Richmond…
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The Speeches of Richmond and Richard in Shakespeares Richard III
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Download file to see previous pages In Act III, Richard has the two princes imprisoned in the Tower of London. He also gets rid of all the people who might stand between him and the throne and spreads the rumor that Edward's marriage to Elizabeth was invalid and hence the children illegitimate and did not have right to the throne. In Act IV, Richard is finally crowned the King of England. However, he still fells insecure that the princes may one day stake their claim at the throne and so has them killed. The last and the final Act, shows the preparations for the Battle, the actual battle and Richard's death in a bloody duel with Richmond. Richmond does not enter the play until the final Act, but as the one who finally defeats Richard his character is shown to be virtuous in contrast to the evil Richard. The contrast between Richard and Richmond's characters is best brought out in the speeches that the two give to their respective armies just before the start of the Battle. The Act V, Scene III shows the preparations made by the two warring sides on the night before and early morning of the battle. Scene III is one of the longest scenes of the play and culminates with the two commanders addressing their troops. The two speeches bring out the basic characteristics of Richard and Richmond. ...
Also, by promising that he would martyr himself if the need arises, he showed that he was a leader of men. Richard, on the other hand, tells the soldiers that their adversaries were not worthy people and were just "scum of Bretons, and base lackey peasants" and were led by a "paltry fellow", "a milk-sop". His speech does not say anything that would lift his soldiers' spirits or fill them with enthusiasm to defeat the enemy. If anything, the speech made it look like that defeating the invaders should be a child's play. The ineffectiveness of the speech and his words raise questions regarding Richard's leadership abilities. Richard was fighting the battle to protect his kingdom and his right to the throne. As such he should have been much more motivated to win the battle and prove to everyone that he truly deserved to be the king. Unfortunately, he did not take Richmond's threat seriously. Richard had ascended the throne with relative ease by either convincing people to side with him or killing those who opposed him. He thought of himself as an intelligent and charismatic person who could get anything that he wanted. Until the battle of the Bosworth Field, he had never really been challenged because he had taken care to kill all those who could challenge him. As a result, his speech reflected his arrogance. Unlike Richmond, Richard's speech did not promise to lead his troops from the front or to die for the cause if need be. Instead, he arrogantly told his troops to "whip these stragglers o'er the seas again" because the invaders were not worthy enough to "enjoy our lands". He did not appeal to his soldiers to protect the honor of the land from foreigners, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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