In this essay it will be considered how Richard responds when others question him in the play and whether it reveals his ability to act; my opinion will be backed up by quotes. Richards reaction to other characters will be studied and finally I will state my opinion of him. Richard can be descried as a very volatile character. The first introduction to Richard’s character, he storms in “They do me wrong and I will not endure it” he is defensive and is already attacking other characters.
He uses clever rhetorical questions to disguise his motives, he uses his disability for empathy from characters and the audience, “because I cannot flatter and look fair, smile in the men’s faces, smooth deceive and cog… ” He acts innocent so that people feel sorry for him and our attention is taken away from his evil doings. This shows a great ability to act by not showing his true feelings. Richard blatantly doesn’t like Margaret and he shows no attempt to hide his feelings to either her or the audience.
He greets her by saying ” thou hateful withered hag” and calls her a foul wrinkled witch”, he shows no guilt in saying these things however he can quickly and effectively cover his tracks by switching the blame to Margaret or someone else instead of himself. His most effective way of doing this is when he acts innocent and becomes offended when someone curses him. “I cry thee mercy then, for I did think that thou hadst called me all these bitter names”. Richard seems disgusted however the audience know that he knows himself that he is all of the “bitter names” and more as he says “I am determined to prove a villain”.
Richard doesn’t care what Elizabeth or her family think of him, however when he overhears them talking about him in a cruel, hurtful manner he is determined to make them seem like the bad ones, “just because I cannot flatter and look fair…. I must be held a rancorous enemy”. Richard accuses Elizabeth’s for being in the wrong and that he wants to do everything he can to help the king get better “Cannot be quiet scarce a breathing while but you must trouble him with lewd complaints”.
Richard is able to convince even the audience that it was Elizabeth’s fault that Clarence is imprisoned and we all know that it was Richard, for every comeback Elizabeth has Richard comes up with a better one “Our brother is imprisoned by your means… ” “I never did incense his Majesty” “You may deny that you were not the mean of my Lord Hastings’ late imprisonment but… ” these comments just makes Elizabeth more wound up and denies it more – Richard lives her reaction. It is obvious that Richard likes the murderers as he refers to them as “my hardy stout resolved mates”.
However he is not 100% reliable of them as he says “do not hear him plead: for Clarence is well-spoken and perhaps may move your hearts to pity” It gives the impression that he knows them well and feels he will have to trust them to get the job done as soon as possible “Go dispatch”. To conclude Richard response to the other character in a very innocent manner, he becomes very insulted when people accuse him of doing something and puts the blame on them instead. This shows that he is a good actor as the audience knows how evil he is and he doesn’t feel any of the emotions he’s putting across.