(1)1213 Level N English Richard III Teachers Introduction and Act 1

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Unformatted text preview: rence free and suggests that it is the Queen who has caused the king’s suspicions. As soon as he has gone, Richard gleefully tells the audience that he will soon be ‘sending Clarence’s soul to heaven’. Lord Hastings enters, recently released from imprisonment himself, and tells Richard that King Edward is very ill and not expected to live. Alone again, Richard confesses to the audience that Edward’s imminent death means he needs to act quickly. Clarence must be killed before Edward dies, and then he will set about getting Lady Anne Neville to marry him, despite the fact that he murdered her husband. Features: Richard establishes himself immediately as a character who talks to the audience, linking the audience to his own thoughts and his own fate. In talking about his deformity he almost seems to take delight in describing it. Richard’s duplicitous nature is illustrated by the way he pretends sympathy and support for Clarence when he has already told the audience that it is through his own interference that Clarence has been arrested. His wit and love of word‐play are shown when he says to Brakenbury ‘We are the queen’s abjects, and must obey.’ He playfully substitutes ‘abjects’ for ‘subjects’ to emphasize how everyone must grovel before the queen. Questions: 1. List three ways in which life has changed for the members of the House of York since they have defeated the House of Lancaster and peace has been restored, according to Richard’s opening speech. 2. Why is Richard not happy with his life in peacetime? 3. What does Richard say that he will do? 4. Explain the prophecy which King Edward believes refers to Clarence. 5. Quote a line which shows that Richard is lying when he promises to plead for Clarence’s release from prison. 6. Quote and explain the image that Hastings uses to describe how good people are being mistreated. 7. Explain the following quotes: a) “Now is the winter of our discontent/ Made glorious summer by this sun of York” (l.1) b) “Cheated of feature by dissembling nature” (l. 19) c) “Meantime this deep disgrace in brotherhood / Touches me deeper than you can imagine” (l. 111) d) “Simple, plain Clarence, I do love thee so/ That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven” (li 119) Lesson 3: Act 1 Scene 2 : Richard the flatterer Synopsis: Lady Anne the widow enters with men carrying the coffin of her father‐in‐law, the murdered King Henry VI. She curses Richard and his family and blames him for the killing of both her husband and father‐in‐law. Richard enters and abuses the men carrying Henry’s coffin. He seems to delight in provoking Anne. She reacts with horror and loathing, hurling more curses and abuse at him. He ignores this and begins to court her, blaming her beauty for his actions. The scene reaches a climax when he offers her his sword and gives her the chance to kill him. When she refuses he offers to kill himself if she tells him to. At this she weakens and agrees to wear his ring. Alone, he gleefully celebrates his conquest, a seemingly impossible feat, but says he ‘will not keep her long’. Features:The dramatic irony of Anne’s opening speech. The audience knows that she is cursing Richard...
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