Essay on Richard Iii and Apparent Potential Nature

Submitted By younigerian
Words: 447
Pages: 2

Despite the apparent potential nature of King Richard III being strictly political as an apology for the Tudor reign, Shakespeare takes it beyond mere propaganda with a powerful depiction of what being human means in a fiercely moral universe. Richard’s initial assertions that he is “determined to prove a villain” and that he is “unfinished”, “half made up”, suggest that he sees himself less than humane, in correlation to the Elizabethan sentiment that a deformed man is already cursed by nature. Later accused of having a most “foul” nature, diabolical terms “demon”, “cacodemon” become a recurring motif which raise the question of whether a person can become so corrupted with evil that they cease to be truly human. In defying the emblematic, theocentric worldview of the ‘Divine Right of Kings’, his downfall is inevitable, powerfully echoed in the structured use of iambic pentameter throughout. Furthermore, divine retribution is symbolised by Margaret who foreshadows the forthcoming demise through cursing “grievous plague in store”, and is too recognised by his own mother who realised that she should have killed him “by strangling [him] in her accursed womb”. The protagonist’s malevolency is further accentuated through his treacherous murders of familial ties, believed to result in a destined passage to hell for these heinous acts as that play was written in a predominantly religious culture.
This essence of evil is undeniably embraced by Pacino, depicting Richard as the epitome of sin. He displays an infectious enthusiasm for the intricacies of Richard’s character, but portrays it differently in the docu-drama to appeal to an audience desensitised to violence by television and video games. The fluid movement of the pastiche structure from costumed performances to voiceovers to street interviews, from hand-held cameras to formal shootings, is a more relatable medium for our…