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

Maincharacters richard duke of gloucester later

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Unformatted text preview: are Clarence, Rivers and Grey, Edward V and his brother Richard, Hastings, Anne Neville and Buckingham. They all wish death and failure on Richard and victory and triumph on Richmond. When the two leaders wake, Richmond is refreshed and eager for the fight. Richard is worn out and depressed. Both leaders make speeches to their armies, and then the battle commences. Richard fights bravely, but his horse is killed under him, and eventually he too is killed by Richmond. Amid great celebrations Richmond is proclaimed as the new king, Henry VII. MAIN CHARACTERS Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later crowned King Richard III. He is a forceful man, intelligent, manipulative, evil, corrupt and unscrupulous, who will stop at nothing to become king. He has been born deformed and physically ugly, which has made him bitter. His deceit and deviousness know no bounds: he shares all his plans and his pleasure in them with the audience, revealing the sadistic delight that he takes in lying to Lady Anne as he persuades her to marry him, and in pretending to Clarence that he will save him from execution. He is politically shrewd and his brilliant use of language entrances the audience, his rivals and his subjects. He shows no remorse at the end for all his crimes – he would probably today be labeled a psychopath. It is a measure of Shakespeare’s skill as a dramatist that he is able to bring us – the audience – under Richard’s spell, despite the fact that we know all his crimes. We are wooed and won by his language and his dry self‐deprecating humor, just as Lady Anne is. It is not difficult to believe that he can convince people to follow him and do as he wishes. Duke of Buckingham: a friend of Richard and the most loyal supporter of his plans to gain power. He is smooth‐talking, and admires and flatters Richard. Buckingham is promised great rewards if he helps Richard become king, but when these rewards are not forthcoming, he deserts him. Following his rebellious army’s defeat he is executed. Lady Anne, later Queen Anne. She is the young widow of the Prince of Wales, who has been killed along with his father King Henry VI following the battle of Tewkesbury (by Richard). She has good reason to hate Richard for this and pours scorn and curses on him, but ultimately falls under his manipulative spell when he convinces her he is in love with her and wants her to be his wife. George, Duke of Clarence: Richard’s older brother. He is portrayed as gentle and unsuspecting, one of life’s victims who cannot really comprehend what is happening to him; a thinker who is out of step with the times he lives in. He is imprisoned by the king, his brother, because a fortune‐teller has foretold that Edward’s descendants will be denied the throne by someone whose name begins with G. Edward has become very superstitious and susceptible to the beliefs of fortune‐tellers. Richard arranges for Clarence to be murdered swiftly before Edward can change his mind. Ironically, although Clarence’s Christian name does begin with G, he is always referred to as Clarence. Richard is the Duke of Gloucester. Gloucester begins with a G. Queen Elizabeth, also called Lady Grey: She is the wife of the dying King Edward IV and mother of the two y...
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This document was uploaded on 02/27/2014.

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