Write About A Key Scene In Shakespeare's 'richard Iii' Which Changes The Readers View Of Richard. Berwickshire High School Essay

1218 words - 5 pages

Question: Write about a play which has a key scene which significantly changes the reader's view of a character.
"Richard III" is a play by William Shakespeare which includes a key scene which significantly changes the reader's view on the protagonist, Richard III. In the play, the scene which changes the reader's view on the character of Richard from sympathetic to unsympathetic is act 4 scene 2. In this scene, Richard says "I wish the bastards dead". This is the turning point where the audience realise Richard has no redeeming qualities left and has been consumed by his insatiability, the audience cease to be the co-conspirators which they have become throughout the play.
To truly experience the turn of events felt by the audience in act 4 scene 2, when all sympathy for Richard is removed, we must first look at the scenes beforehand which create this sympathy. One scene which helps create the sympathy for the character of Richard which will later be removed in act 4 scene 2 is act 1 scene 1- the opening soliloquy. Richard creates sympathy for himself in the opening soliloquy when he is describing his deformities and how he feels they have ruined his existence. He describes himself as being "cheated by feature". "Cheated" suggests deception and creates sympathy from the idea that he's been deceived by nature to look this way and cause him harm. "Rudely stamped", "dissembling nature" and "sent before my time" are examples of word choice which also emphasis how little Richard thinks of himself. They also suggest it isn't his fault, yet he is the one being punished for looking the way he does. These quotes make the reader feel sorry for Richard as he feels his deformities have ruined his life. "I am determined to prove a villain" is an important quote in the play as the word choice and short, blunt sentence show the reader a piece of Richard's scheming character. Sympathy could be lost as it could mean that he really wants to prove how harsh and horrible he can be. However, this sympathy may not be lost as it could also be taken to mean that fate has decided, by making him so horribly deformed, that he has no choice but to be horrible as everyone expects it because of the way he looks. This idea that he has no choice in his personality and has been cheated by nature create sympathy for the character.
Another scene with creates vast amounts of sympathy for Richard is act 2 scene 2 when Richard's mother is talking about him. The Duchess says "he is my son - ay, and therein my shame". The harshness and brevity of these words create sympathy as its his mother saying these horrible things about Richard. She cannot stand her sons deformities and acts of murder. He is now her only son left and her lack of remorse when expressing the shame she feels towards him creates sympathy for Richard as these are very unkind things to be said by a mother about her child. In Act 2 scene 4 she describes him as a child as "the wretched'st thing". This is another harsh...

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