Portray Of Richard Iii In Shakespeare’s Speech
Throughout Shakespeare’s speech (written in Iambic pentameter), Richard III was shown as a hunchbacked, war loving person. He hated peace because he felt very out of place; ‘grim-visaged war hath smooth’d his wrinkled front.’ Everyone looked normal and not deformed except for him. In Shakespeare’s time, it was thought that if you were disabled and ugly, you were evil and your disability was a curse from God. Shakespeare used this fact to show him as an even more evil person than he would normally be.
Shakespeare portrayed him as thinking he was ‘cheated of feature by dissembling nature’ and being ‘sent before his time.’ This means that nature betrayed him by giving him his deformity and by allowing him to be born prematurely. Shakespeare said that Richard was so ugly that ‘dogs bark at him when he halts by them.’ This means that even dogs notice that is deformed and make fun of him. Here, Shakespeare is really trying to insult him because of his deformity. This is all because of the belief he had about deformity meaning evil.
Richard hated the kind of boring things that happened during times of peace and said that he was ‘not shaped for sportive tricks, nor made to court and amorous looking glass.’ This means that he does not like sportive tricks because they are not serious enough and he wants to do something like fight in war. He also does not feel the desire to try and please and date girls. Similar to that, he also said that he does not want to ‘caper nimbly in a lady’s chamber to the lascivious pleasing of a lute.’ This means that he does not want to go to meet with ladies to try to please them. This also portrays Richard as a person who thinks doing such acts are wimpy and not warrior-like. Here, Shakespeare is portraying Richard as anti-social and war loving.
Richard had ‘no delight to pass away the time’ in times of peace. This means that he did not want to live his life in times of peace. This is how bored he was and how out of place he felt (or at least how Shakespeare portrayed it.) Shakespeare also says that Richard would only want to ‘spy his shadow in the sun and descant on his own deformity.’ This shows him as a very depressed person, who could only be cheered up by a war starting, making him look very evil.
On the contrary, Shakespeare starts the play like this. ‘Now is the winter of our discontent. Made glorious by this sun of York.’ This means that the war is over and Richard is happy that his family has won. Sun is a pun for son. The reason Shakespeare starts his play like this is so that he can go on to say that he starts to get bored by all of the fun and peace and wants war. This is intentionally done to make Richard look as evil as possible.
To conclude, Shakespeare portrayed Richard as a disabled, evil, peace hating man, who loves war more than anything else. He used anything he could to paint Richard in a bad light.