Books and Movies Reviews

The Tragedy of Richard III

“The tragedy of Richard III lies in the progressive isolation of
From the very opening of the play when Richard III enters “solus”,
the protagonist’s isolation is made clear.Richard’s isolation progresses
as he separates himself from the other characters and breaks the natural
bonds between Man and nature through his efforts to gain power.
Thefirst scene of the play begins with a soliloquy, which
emphasizes Richard’s physical isolation as he appears alone as he speaks to
the audience.This idea of physical isolation is heightened by his
references to his deformity, such as “rudely stamp’d…Cheated of feature
by Dissembling Nature, deformed, unfinished.This deformity would be an
outward indication to the audience ofthe disharmony from Nature and
viciousness of his spirit.As he hates “the idle pleasures of these days”
and speaks of his plots to set one brother against another, Richard seems
socially apart from the figures around him, and perhaps regarded as an
outsider or ostracized because of his deformity.His separation from is
family is emphasized when he says “Dive, thought’s down to my soul” when he
sees his brother approaching.He is unable to share his thought with his
own family as he is plotting against them.Thus, we are given hints of his
physical, social and spiritual isolation which is developed throughout the
play.But despite these hints,he still refers to himself as part of the
House of York, shown in the repeated use of “Our”.
The concept of Richard’s physical isolation is reinforced in his
dealings with Anne in Act I scene ii.She calls him “thou lump of foul
deformity” and “fouler toad” during their exchange.Despite these insults,
she still makes time to talk to Richard, and by the end of their exchange,
she has taken his ring and been “woo’d” by him.After Richard has
successfully gained the throne, he isolates himsel…


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