King Richard III

Act 1 Scene 1

In the first lines of the play, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, reviews the current state of affairs in England. War is over and the house of York is on the throne. Everyone has put aside the rigors of warfare for the pleasures of peacetime, except for Richard. He says he is not interested in such playfulness. Because he is physically deformed, he cannot see himself playing the role of courtier. Instead he commits to villainy. He plots to set King Edward against his brother George, Duke of Clarence, using as provocation the prophecy that someone with the letter G in his name will murder Edward’s heirs. Directly, George is led forth by soldiers on the way to the Tower to be imprisoned. Richard suggests that this is really the doings of the king’s wife, Lady Grey, and that no one is safe from her treachery. Richard promises to intercede for Clarence, but as soon as he is led away, Richard reveals his true motive is to kill Clarence and get him out of the way. Lord Hastings, who is the Lord Chamberlain, brings news of the king’s sickness. This adds to Richard’s desire to get George out of the way. Once the king is dead Richard believes he will be in a strategic position to take over the kingdom. He also plans to marry Lady Anne, Warwick’s youngest daughter, even though he has killed her husband Edward and her father-in-law, King Henry VI.

Answer these questions

1. What does Richard reveal about his character and motives in his opening speech?

2. What does Richard think of his brothers, King Edward and Clarence? What picture does Richard paint of Edward’s character?

3. Why does Richard insinuate to Clarence that he shouldn’t blame Edward for his imprisonment but the King’s wife, Elizabeth?

4. Why is Hastings willing to ally with Richard?

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17 Responses to King Richard III

  1. Joaquin Diaz Walker says:

    1. He reveals, that he wants to be a villain, because he has no choice. If he could be good, he would, but in this circumstance, he cannot be good, he can be only a villain. He also reveals that he would like to be his brother, because he gets all the women he wants, but Richard, has a deformed body and hasn’t got the same sex appeal that his brother has.

    2. He thinks that his brothers got all the control of the monarchy, while he, hates them because of not having any control over the reign, and he never got the chance, that is why he feels he must gain control.

    3. He said this, so as to take control of the crown. If he didn’t say anything to Clarence, then Elizabeth would be the heir of the throne, but, by saying this to Clarence, Elizabeth won’t be able to be in power, and he, as the closer relative, would rise to power.

    4. Hastings, kind of used Richard so as to get out from the tower of London. And also, he wanted to become a royal again, and that is why he wanted to take advantage of Richard’s power while in throne.

  2. Belen Gay says:

    1) Richard reveal about his character and motives in his opening speech his arrogance and it is shown the bad person that he is, in my opinion. The reader can realize how jelous of his brother he is so we see the arrogance and the bad personality that he has.
    2) Richard is jelous about Clarence and King Edward. He plans very bad things for them.
    3) Richard insinuate to Clarence that he shouldn’t blame Edward for his imprisonment but the King’s wife, Elizabeth, because he didn’t want Elizabeth to asume and take the power when Edward’s death.

  3. Joaquin Olaizola says:

    1. What does Richard reveal about his character and motives in his opening speech?
    Here we can easily realize that Richard is an evil, selfish and dangerous character. He wants to become King and nothing or no one will stop him. If he wants something, he is capable of everything (good or bad, usually bad) to accomplish his objective. However, he also shows that he is very intelligent and persuasive because he knows how to create problems between different characters without being in the middle.
    2. What does Richard think of his brothers, King Edward and Clarence? What picture does Richard paint of Edward’s character?
    He can`t careless about them. He betrayed Clarance and act as if he is worried about him. However, we know that he is not and that he wants to kill him in order to eliminate him from the competition. But, he is more jealous of Edward because he is the King and the one that has the real power. He hates him and wishes his death.

    3. Why does Richard insinuate to Clarence that he shouldn’t blame Edward for his imprisonment but the King’s wife, Elizabeth?
    Because he wants also to remove Elizabeth from the competition. He see her as a threat, she may be the one that takes the power if Edward dies and also he knows that she knows how evil and dangerous Richard is. So, he wants to eliminate everyone that may be a threat for him and his horrible plan.
    4. Why is Hastings willing to ally with Richard?
    Because he is imprisoned in the tower of London and thinks that Richard, a powerful and respected character, may be his door towards freedom.

  4. Justo F. Vidal says:

    1. What does Richard reveal about his character and motives in his opening speech?
    In Richard’s soliloquy, we get to know that he is “deformed, unfinished”. He is no material of a looking glass, as he is not a pleasant man to watch. He is lame and unfashionable, and as he cannot get a lover to spend the peace-time England is going through due to his appearance, he is determines to be a villain. He is planning to set his brother and the king into a deadly hate, one against each other.
    2. What does Richard think of his brothers, King Edward and Clarence? What picture does Richard paint of Edward’s character?
    Richard thinks that Edward and Clarence are impediments as they are in the middle, between him and the thrown, plus the fact that Richard seems to hate Edward because he is the king. Towards Clarence, Richard “appreciates” him, but he is willing to kill him to get the thrown: “Simple, plain Clarence, I do love thee so That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven…”
    3. Why does Richard insinuate to Clarence that he shouldn’t blame Edward for his imprisonment but the King’s wife, Elizabeth?
    Richard insinuates this to Clarence to manipulate him, by showing that Edward betrayed him by following his wife’s orders. This way, Clarence saw, by Richard’s means, that his own brother acted against him. This way, he sets Clarence even more against Edward.
    4. Why is Hastings willing to ally with Richard?
    Hastings is willing to ally with Richard in order to avoid imprisonment and maybe to take revenge from who imprisoned him.

  5. FranciscoRipoll says:

    1. What does Richard reveal about his character and motives in his opening speech?
    Along his speech Richard gives to understand that he does not take any worry for nobody and that his most important aim is to be the king. In his speech he reflects a great envy towards his brothers for his physical appearances, and he said that he is going to abolish all those who put on his way to be the king. Richard realizes that the being a good person would not guarantee the throne, is because of that he decides to be a villain.
    2. What does Richard think of his brothers, King Edward and Clarence? What picture does Richard paint of Edward’s character?
    Richard does not like any of his brothers, saw them as obstacles to come to the power. It is because of it that has planned to do evilnesses against them in order that they stop being a competition for him. After that, he reveals that he want to kill one of them in spite of the he admits that Edward is a just and good king.
    3. Why does Richard insinuate to Clarence that he shouldn’t blame Edward for his imprisonment but the King’s wife, Elizabeth?
    Because Elizabeth can take the power after Edward´s death, so he wants to avoid that by insinuating to Clarence that he shouldn´t blame Edward for his imprisonment but Elizabeth.
    4. Why is Hastings willing to ally with Richard?
    Hastings wants to be allied with Richard because he sees him as an exit of the tower of London, where he was enclosed by Edward. He sees Richard as a good ally to have in the future after to have become a king.

  6. Nicolás Araya says:

    1. Richard begins with his soliloquy, by stating that summer is coming and war is over. He continues by explaining that he will never be a lover because of his awful deformities, and that is the reason why he decided to become a villian. He finishes talking when he reveals that he is planning to plot against the king and against his brother Clarence.

    2. He sees his own brothers as obstacles in his path to become the king, which is why he wants to imprison Clarence and take Edward from power, he does not see them as family. Apart from that, he is rescentful from the fact that he is the only one of all three that suffers from deformities and feel jealous. At the same time, he describes Edward as a good man, which is a clue to see Richard’s indifference towards his brothers.

    3. He told Clarence this because Elizabeth was going to be the queen after the king’s death, and that was a hazard to Richard’s ambitions. there was no sense in plotting against his brothers without getting rid of Elizabeth, because she was the following heir to the throne.

    4. Hastings had two main objectives: Get freed from the tower of London and getting back his power. Richard was the only way through which he could acomplish this and become royal again.

  7. Belen Irazusta says:

    What does Richard reveal about his character and motives in his opening speech?
    In the opening of the book he reveals his plans for the future, what he wants to do to become king and also he reveals his personality and physical appearance. He is a deformed person and that is why he thinks that the only thing he can be is an evil person because he can not be loved. That is why he is a villain. Moreover, he wants to be king no matter what it takes. And that is why he wants to blame his brother for the future assassination of the king.
    What does Richard think of his brothers, King Edward and Clarence? What picture does Richard paint of Edward’s character?
    He does not love them and that is why he doesnt mind killing them for becoming King. Edward is very ill and he wants to make him think that Clarence wants to kill him so he can get all the power. In addition. Clarence thinks that Richard is helping him to make Edward understand that he is not a threaten. Although, we know that this is all part of Richard’s plan and he is definitely not helping him.
    Why does Richard insinuate to Clarence that he shouldn’t blame Edward for his imprisonment but the King’s wife, Elizabeth?
    What he wants is to put his brothers against. That´s why he says to Clarence that Edward is hearing to his wife that is telling him that Clarence wants to kill him. Moreover, he does not wants Elizabeth to take the throne when he dies or to have a good position in the kingdom.
    Why is Hastings willing to ally with Richard?
    I think it is because it is convenient for him. He may think that Richard is powerful and can help him in all the troubles he is involved.

  8. Agus Buljevich says:

    1. What does Richard reveal about his character and motives in his opening speech?
    He reveals that he is a bad person. Moreover, he described himself as a deformed person. Furthermore, Richard is going to betray his brother because there is a prophecy which state that Edward’s heirs would be killed by G. Richard’s brother name begins with G. He tells his evil plan: make his brother (the tutor of Edward’s kids) be hated by the king so he becomes the tutor of Edward’s offspring and then king . Also, he admits he is a villain.
    2. What does Richard think of his brothers, King Edward and Clarence? What picture does Richard paint of Edward’s character?
    Richard did not love their brothers; he is jealous of them and they are an impediment for him since he wanted to become king, that’s why he wanted to take them out of the way.
    3. Why does Richard insinuate to Clarence that he shouldn’t blame Edward for his imprisonment but the King’s wife, Elizabeth?
    Because he did not want Elizabeth to interferes in his plan of Becoming king after Edward’s death.
    4. Why is Hastings willing to ally with Richard?+
    Because he wanted to regain royal favor and be freed of Edward’s punishment that was putting him on the tower of London.

  9. Agustin Campion says:

    1- During the beggining of the play, Richard reveals himself as a man who has came into world incomplete, that he is physycally deformed. He expresses that because of this he had came to world to be a villian. Also, he explains his plans for the future. He desperately wants the throne of England and what he do is convince edward with the prophecy that someone with the letter G will kill him, And clarance name is George so the king imprissioned clarance.

    2- Richard doesn’t like both of his brothers. He is angry with them because of being normal and not incomplete as he is. so he later reveals he wants to kill both of them and take the throne. Richard later paints Edward image as a good king of england. that he had been victourious and smart wile taking decissions and have ruled well all those years.

    3- so when the king died, she won’t take the throne.

    4-Because he is desperate to get out of the tower and he sees on Richard the door of exit of imprissionment.

  10. sofi teran says:

    1. Richard reveals that he is an evil character. He has no sympathy for anybody and he is willing to do what it takes to get what he wants, which is the crown that Edward his brother has. Even if that means destroying its own family. He is angry with the world because he`s deformed and because of it he cannot be love. Therefore, as a consequence of this he says that if he cannot be loved then he`s going to be a villain.
    2 .Richard sees his brothers as his way to power. They do not mean anything to him. However, he is especially jealous of Edward since he is the one who has the crown, which is the thing that Richard wants more. But to get this he has to get rid of Clarence first , because if something happend to edward the crown would go to clarence ,so he already has a plan to get him killed
    3. He says this because he want clearance to feel that his own brother gives more importance to what his wife has to say that what his own brother has. He wants clearance to think that his own blood is betraying him. This is his way of putting his brothers one against the other
    4 Because he wants to be completely free from the accusation of being the possible murderer of the king`s sons

  11. Francisco Okecki says:

    1) At his opening speech Richard shows to the audience how realistic he is by stating that because of his physic (deformed) his paper as villain was determined which unleash the revelation of his plan to take ver power by acting through hatred between his brother, he shows himself not as a the typical villain that builds up an army and try to take over the throne by force but by using his charisma and intelligence so as to betray his brothers later without having to “get his hands dirty”.
    2) Richard´s hatred towards his brothers are based on jelousy because they don´t suffer the deformities he suffers, although he sorts of contradicts himself by showing Edward as lame but, at the same time, he does respect him because he says that he have done well in England.
    3) Because Elizabeth is a threat towards Richard´s objective, the throne.
    4) Hastings desire to ally with Richard is due to the fact that he sees him as tool to get his power back, and the first step is to get out of the tower were he was imprisioned and Hastings know he will be useful for that

  12. Federico Tear says:

    1) It clearly shows Richard’s personality. Very selfish and apathetic. He only cares about his well-being, and he cares so much that he wants to kill anyone who stands in the way of him becoming King. His deformity and his unwillingness to be just a Courtier are his motives to achieve his maleficent goal.

    2) Richard does not see them as brothers. He just sees them as obstacles that are between him and the throne. It is difficult to understand how someone could kill a brother without any reason and if there was, it is still hard to comprehend. Nevertheless, he admits that Edward is a truthful king.

    3) Richard does this because he sees his wife as a threat. She could easily be named Queen, so she is another obstacle in his way that somehow has to be removed.

    4) Hastings is interested in allying with Richard because he sees that he is the only possible option or way to get him out of prison and regain his royal power.

  13. Sebastian Borda says:

    What does Richard reveal about his character and motives in his opening speech?
    Richard reveals his evil plans to take the position of King; he says he will setup his brother to be killed by the King because he could be part of the “prophesy” that someone named with the letter “G” would kill the King. Then he would wait for the King to die from the illness he was suffering from, which would put him in an advantageous position to be the next King. Moreover he also reveals that he is deformed, which prevents him from having women falling in love with his appearance. I think that his deformity is one of the motives to become the next King because he might think that people would notice him once he has power.
    2. What does Richard think of his brothers, King Edward and Clarence? What picture does Richard paint of Edward’s character?
    Richard doesn’t care about his brothers; he is willing to betray them and turn them against each other in order to get what he wants, power. He basically has this hatred towards them because they have what he doesn’t, love, good looks, and power. Even though he thinks about his brothers in a bad way, he mentions that Edward is a good and just man.
    3. Why does Richard insinuate to Clarence that he shouldn’t blame Edward for his imprisonment but the King’s wife, Elizabeth?
    He tells Clarence that it was the Kings wife who imprisoned him because he doesn’t want her to take Edwards position when he dies. He creates this lie to give the idea that she isn’t a good woman, she couldn’t be trusted and that no one was safe from her.
    4. Why is Hastings willing to ally with Richard?
    Hastings is willing to ally with Richard because he sees him as a way to get to get out of the London tower, were he was sent by the King under suspicions of murder towards him; once he is freed he would be able to have Royal benefits, like he used to before. He sees Richard as a good ally to have in the future as well, once he becomes King of course.

  14. Antonia Flores Piran says:

    1) What Richard reveals about his character and motives in his opening speech is that he is physically deformed and as a consequence he cannot see himself playing the role of courtier so he commits to villainy. What is more, he also revels that he wants to set King Edward against his brother George by making him believe that someone with the letter G in his name will kill him(George his brother) Once the king is dead, Richard believes he will be in a strategic position to take over the kingdom.

    2) Richard is against his two brothers king Edward and Clarence because they have all the things he does not have. He is jealous of them and wants bad things for them. He revels he want to kill Clarence and get him out of the way. Also he believes that with Richard dead he can have a better position to take over the kingdom. He wants them out of his way.

    3) Richard insinuates to Clarence that he should blame Elizabeth because he did not want her to take the power when his husband was dead. He wanted to take her out of his way of getting his better position.

    4) Hastings is willing to ally with Richard because he sees him as the only way of getting out of the tower of London were he has been arrested by Edward.

  15. Emi Molmenti says:

    1. He reveals himself as a deformed person and that as a consequence of his deformity he couldn’t be a lover, so he had to embrase the villan’s character. “Since I cannot prove a lover To entertain these fair well-spoken days, I am determined to prove a villain” He reveals that he would be the villan by becoming G. There was a prophecy that Edward’s heirs would be killed by G. Richard III reveals he will take this place. He reveals the evils plans, he has planned for his brother. He is going to betray him. He will make the king and his brother hate each other. So as to become the tutor of the king’s heirs and then take the crown for himself.

    2. He doesn’t like his brothers, he thinks they are his means to get to power. They will fall into his evils plans. He portrays king Edward as “true” and “just”.

    3. Richard III insinuate to Clarence that is the King’s wife who is sending him to the Tower to show that the King isn’t in his side. He doesn’t make front to his wife which only gossips like women, for his own brother. To show that he was in his side while the king wasn’t ” we aren’t safe here.” He wants George to believe that they are facing this situation together, that he is there for him.

  16. Majo Tear says:

    1)In his speech he reveals how he doesn’t care about anyone and his main important objective is the throne of England. He shows the audience how by jealousy of his brothers that are not deformed as he is physically, he will go for the crown destroying the obstacles that would lead to the throne. Richard realizes that by being a good person with empathy over other people he would not accomplish his main objective and dream, so he decides to be a villain. This soliloquy makes the audience set the stage for what’s going to happen next, the cruel and wrong action of Richard against his family to get the throne.
    2) Richard is very jealous of his two brothers. Especially Edward that has the crown, because he is not physically deformed as he is and he gets to have love and romance in his life and be happy. Richard also accomplishes his objective of taking Clearance out of his way to the throne, so he makes Edward, his brother turn against Clearance by creating some suspicion on him and sends him to the tower of London, where Richard assures he will make sure he does not come back.
    3) Because as Clearance is already out of the way, as Edward is married to Queen Elizabeth, Richard doesn’t want her to go to the throne after Edward dies.
    4)He wants to ally with Richard because he wants his royal power back and be completely freed from the tower of London, as Edward put him there under suspicions.

  17. Delfina Subira says:

    1) He proves that he is someone who shows no sympathy or concern for the people , and because he couldn´t change how he looked like and be happy he is very clear that he will be a villain in order to acomplish what he wanted that was power.
    2)Richard is not fond of his brothers. In this act we see that he wants King Edward to be against his brother George, Duke of Clarence. Even worse, he then reveals his true motive, which is to kill Clarence and get him out of the way. He paints a lame picture os Edward´s character, though he claims that Edward did well in England he seems glad that he is sick because he wants to be in power.
    3)Because he didn´t want Elizabeth to take power after Edwards death.
    4) Hastings is willing to ally with Richard because he wanted to regain royal favor and be freed.

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