Elizabethan Views Of Richard III Essay

This essay has a total of 898 words and 4 pages.

Elizabethan Views Of Richard III



Douglas Starliper
4/18/00
LT. Kullman

My Essay on Whether What Richard III did was Right, or Wrong

King Richard III, in my opinion, was a greedy, yet determined man who would do whatever it
took to achieve the position of king of England. What he did to get to this position was
wrong, however, how he went about achieving what he wanted shows that he had intelligence.
Having to kill a family member to get to where he wanted to be, did not even stop him. I
believe that him doing this was very dishonorable. Even the book, Shakespeare and the
Renaissance Code of Honor says “dishonor is worse than death.” In this same book I found
a piece of information saying “If the renaissance aristocracy loved and pursued honor
intensely, and with it’s whole being. It follows logically that dishonor was the one thing
in life which could not be tolerated.” Another quote from the same book on honor says
“Since honor was so highly esteemed not only to one’s own life, but also the lives of
those close and dear to oneself, might be sacrificed in order to maintain one’s
reputation”, which is almost exactly what Richard did.


As stated above, in my opinion, I think that what Richard III did to achieve his position
was wrong, but he does have a massive amount of intelligence to be able to pull off his
master plan. His goal is to become the King of England, and he would go to any means
necessary to get this. Although what he did proved to be morally in correct, the also
proved to be intelligent ideas. For example, he sees a path he can take that will lead
him right to the thrown, but his brother, Clarence, is next in line to inherit it. What
Richard does to prevent this from happening is he has his own brother murdered. That, in
my views, is one of the most dishonorable things he does in the play. Yet he executes
this plan very wisely. The reason behind this being that he hired two hit-men to do it
for him, and the authorities have no way of pinning this crime on Richard. From one
internet site Richard in the Mirror of the Centuries, it says, “Shakespeare’s
characterization of Richard III has been accepted as a historical portrait – a portrait of
the most wicked of English kings. The question is, whether this is not rather
exaggerated?” After reading further in this document, I find that it blatantly says “From
the very first beginning, in the opening soliloquy, Richard tells the spectators about his
own wickedness and he really does prove a villain! He verifies the impression we get in
the first scene throughout the drama by acting and thinking the way he does. Always doing
what he was “promised” before, he appears to be an unscrupulous person – a night-mare
king.” Which supports my opinion which says what he does is wrong. There is also another
type of honor that I see broken in this play, and that’s honor to your family. If he
honored his family, he would let things take the course they are supposed to take, and let
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