Close reading essay on “Richard III” by William Shakespeare
Richard III by William Shakespeare
Richard III, during the War of the Roses between 1455 and 1845, had the determination of gaining the throne that his brother, Edward IV, occupied. It is an inarguable fact that one of the most important and mandatory recipes of gaining the possession of the throne or Kingship (power) is by first having the determination and interest of doing so. Richard III says “I would be King Buckingham” (Shakespeare 52). Naturally, it is often true that we become who proclaim and believe. The belief and proclamations of what one wants to become is dependent on what one says about himself or herself. Words have power, and what we proclaim and announce about ourselves through words is usually what we become and is frequently fueled by determination. Therefore, by the virtue of being determined to become the King, it is clearly evident that Richard III has proved to be the rightful heir of the Kingship throne.
He, Richard III, does everything humanly possible with the primary aim of ensuring that he becomes the person to take the throne from his brother. First, he manages to turn his brother, Edward, whom he is to inherit the throne from, against the Clarence’s Duke. Clarence, being the potential threat who could have challenged him (Richard) in taking the Kingship throne, and then gets imprisoned on the treason charges in the Tower. Second, he succeeds in convincing Buckingham and Hasting that the person to be blamed for the incarceration of Clarence is the Queen together with her faction. Thirdly, he hires murderers who he instructs to kill Clarence, whom he considered as both his opponent and enemy in the inheritance of the throne, putting him to death.
Richard III performs and indulges in some practices that are tailored towards acting as further proofs as to why he is the rightful heir to the throne and why he ought to remain the rightful heir into the throne. Richard III displays the devotion, courtesy, and respect in his ruling. The virtues of devotion, courtesy, and respect are depicted through his statement where he says, “Ha! Am I king? ‘tis so, but Edward lives” (Shakespeare 61). The statement is synonymous to a situation of acknowledging the contributions and successes that his brother, Edward IV, has made during his previous kingship reign as worthwhile and demanding recognition.
Richard III has a commitment of protecting his throne to every extent that may be required. He subscribes to the propagation of events that are objectively focused on ensuring that he holds the throne as long as he desires and wishes, irrespective of such events and happenings being either bad or good. To King Richard III, his kingship throne comes first and is the most important thing in the life he lives. He is more than ready and willing to do anything possible in ensuring that he maintains his throne, regardless of whether or not his actions are violating the both the human dignity and rights. His in protecting the throne of kingship is vested upon the belief that all his enemies and those who are opposed to his rule and throne must be subjected to death as is evident in his words, “Tut, tut, thou art all ice, thy kindness freezeth: Say, have I thy consent that they shall die” (Shakespeare 64). According to Richards, the kingship throne and power must be protected to every extent even if that may entail indulging in the extremes and vices.
All those who could not collaborate with him and support his throne were subjected to severe ordeals such as murder as he explains and justifies in his statement, “know’st thou not any whom corrupting gold, would tempt unto a close exploit of death” (Shakespeare 68). Richard III believes on the principle that Dependency is the key to power and the success of ruling.
First, he (Richard III) gets Sir Thomas Vaughan, Lord Rivers, and Lord Grey both imprisoned and executed. Also, upon finding that Hastings was not loyal to him but rather remained loyal to Prince Edward, he denounces Hastings as a traitor and consequently orders for his execution. Moreover, with the undying devotion of securing his position, Richard III makes a suggestion to Buckingham for young princes, Richmond, to be put to death.
However, Buckingham opposes his suggestion. He regards Buckingham as an enemy to his and demanding for him to put to death. Richard III says, “Buckingham shall no longer be his neighbors’ counsel” (Shakespeare 73). In other words, Richard III means and is implying that he who is opposed to his kingship is not worth of living and does not belong to his land of the ruling. Therefore, Buckingham is captured and slain.
What is both shocking and surprising is that, according to Richard III, he upholds the virtue of “the end justifies the mean.” He is not bothered about how many people he kills so long as he retains the throne’s power. There reason being, to Richard III, retaining the kingship position is the justification as to why he is the rightful heir to the throne irrespective of those who suffer or put to death. It is in such reasoning that the great men Buckingham, Lord Grey, and Sir Thomas Vaughan among others are killed, and King Richard III is neither concerned nor bothered. To Richard III, such killings are no big issues, and he treats them as the normal state of affair. He disregards and is oblivious of the value of human life. He even put those who helped him attain his kingship throne from King Edward IV to death including Buckingham, Sir Thomas Vaughan, and Lord Rivers among others. Works CitedShakespeare, William. King Richard III. Lanham: Start Publishing LLC, 2013. Print.