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Richard iii

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Richard iii

Kings are generally thought to be beautiful, God-like humans

from a certain genealogy. They are placed at the throne due to

whom they were born to and/or who they marry. Richard of

Glouster is born of the royal family but, he does not possess the

qualities of a King to be legitimate according to Shakespeare's

Richard III.

Richard and his brothers are all entitled to the throne if

their father dies. By killing his two brothers, Richard is the

only person in his immediate family entitled to the throne. Why

must he kill his brothers so that he may gain the crown?

Shakespeare depicts Edward and Clarence as far more worthy of the

crown. They possess traits of a King which Richard does not


Richard states in his opening speech ?Unless to spy my

shadow in the sun/And descant on mine own deformity./ And

therefore since I cannot prove a lover? (1.1.26-28). In this

speech Richard admits he cannot be a lover because he is ugly

with deformity. This imperfectness does not fit the perfect

qualities known to Kings. His brothers, on the other hand, do

possess the ability to love and both were married or betrothed.

Edward even had two women to love! Some may say that Edward was

illegitimate because of his other lover, but, is it better and

more respectable to not be able to have love or to have several

loves? A King should be able to love to rule a Kingdom otherwise

he may be a ruthless killer as Shakespeare demonstrates in the


Gaining the hand of a woman not only makes a King look

worthy to love but also is used for political gains. Richard

himself demonstrates this as he ruthlessly goes after Ann after

killing her lover and her Father. Through manipulation but not

by his heart he gains Ann's hand. So, he does gain a woman for

political strength but he still does not fulfill the trait of a

King as a loving individual.

Why does Richard believe he should be King? He seems to

possess only one quality which his brothers have: to be born of

Royalty. One other quality exists in his favor, but is

questionable. Richard is a good leader. Yet, he leads through

fear. For example, in Act 5 Richard demands that Stanley bring

him an army or he will decapitate his son. He also leads through

manipulation. For example he manipulates his brother Clarence

into believing he was going to help free him from prison (though

he was responsible for putting him there in the first place). He

tells Clarence as he's escorted to the tower ?Well, your

imprisonment shall not be long./I will deliver you or lie for

you./Meantime, have patience.?(1.1.115-117) Shakespeare's

audience already knows this is a complete lie. So, although

Richard is a good leader in making people do and act the way he

wants them to, he does it in an unkindly way. He is really a

traitor by lying to his own brother for his own gains.

Shakespeare is commenting on yet another trait that Kings should

have which Richard lacks. A King should be looking out for the

good of the Kingdom, it's people and most definitely his own kin.

Richard only looks out for himself and his own personal gains.

Some may say that to be a King you must be able to

manipulate. After all, manipulation is ...

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