Richard the 3rd : Act 1 Scene 2.
In the text it can be clearly determined that Anne is a genuine character and that Richard
is quite the opposite. “Dost thou grant me hedgehog?” This quotation clearly indicates the
sincerity and veracious nature of Anne’s persona in this particular scene. She genuinely
feels hatred for Richard.
“So will it, madam, till I lie with you”, here we see Richard’s apparent lust for Anne being
expressed. It demonstrates Richard’s confident and overtly sexual mentality being
spoken, which is purposefully created by Shakespeare to enhance Richard’s immorality.
However due to Richard’s soliloquy at the start of the play we know very well that lust is
not what he feels for Anne at all, not to mention love. This is an example of
Shakespeare’s witty use of dramatic irony for the drama of the play.
“I would it were mortal poison for thy sake” when Anne says this we know that
Shakespeare’s intent is to convey her true and actual emotions. We know that her
feelings are of animosity and very much real; contrasting with the false comments made
“O wonderful, when devils tell the truth!” this remark is in essence an insult to Richard but
can also be interpreted as Anne’s relief. It also suggests Anne’s definite and upfront
“...wonderful when angels are so angry” this shows Richard’s retort to Anne, it is almost
as if he is mirroring what Anne is saying. This is an illustration of Shakespeare’s ability to
use words in a powerful and shrewd manner. We know, of course that this too is a bogus
addition to Richard’s temperament, because he is clearly lying to Anne about what he
thinks of her beauty.
“Your beauty was the cause of the effect, Your beauty did haunt me in my sleep, To
undertake the death of all the world, So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom”. This
clearly hyperbolic speech made by the deceitful Richard demonstrates his ability to
ingratiate himself with Anne. As the scene goes on Richard’s endeavour to win Anne over
is slowly becoming accomplished. As the audience we know that the above extract is
entirely false but it is almost part of Richard’s flair. Shakespeare has deliberately
fashioned Richard in this way to convey his malicious personality to the audience.
“These nails should rend that beauty from my cheeks” This tells us that Anne’s Genuine
feelings are that she would give up her beauty just to have Richard leave her be and
have back her loved ones. It also portrays Shakespeare’s skill to use imagery in a
“Let him thank me that holp to send him thither – for he was fitter for that place than
earth” When Richard declares this he is stating that by killing King Henry he has sent him
to heaven and therefore has done a good deed. Naturally this is complete and utter
nonsense but portrays Richard’s ability to come up with answers for almost anything. This
shows Richard’s cunning and wit.
“Take up the sword again, or take me up” this is more or less Richard daring Anne to do
something terrible and dreadful. He is almost offering her an extremely probing and overt
ultimatum; kill me or have me. This proves Richard’s quick thinking and wit, which is
decisively formed by Shakespeare to add to the drama of the play.
“Though I wish thy death, I will not be thy executioner” this exhibits that Richard’s efforts
to woo Anne have been very much successful. It portrays Richard as a sly and devious
character, full of scheming policies and values. It also shows Anne’s authentic views on
Richard, and how as the scene has progressed they have been radically altered.
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