In scene III Richard enters the conversation very abrasively, seemingly knowledgeable of their backstabbing and gossiping.
Straight away he puts himself forward as the injured party, which confuses them, as none of the gossipers know whom he’s accusing. At the start of the scene the queen talks openly of her fears and her doubts of how Richard’s devious ways will effect her and her family once her husband dies; “if he would die what would betide on me? ” and “Ah, he is young and his minority is put under the trust of Richard of Gloucester, a man who loves not me nor none of you.” This openness shown from the queen exemplifies the fact that these people are Richard’s enemies and cannot be trusted by him. The subsequent conversation after the first initial input by Richard is very direct and confrontational. It is also very critical and reproachful of the queen: – “our brother is imprisoned by your means,” “she may do more sir, than denying that: she may help to many preferments, and then deny her aiding hand therein and lay those honours on your high dessert.” In this atmosphere where nobody trusts anybody, Richard revels He is able to weave rumours and doubts into peoples heads i. e. he blames Queen Elizabeth for the imprisonment of Clarence and starts doubting her honesty and incorruptibility, the very things the politicians and monarchs were only just discussing about Richard.
Everyone is very anxious as they know the king is near death and there is no obvious successor. Richard relishes in the anxiety and heightened emotion; starting vicious rumours.Richard also plays on the group’s snobbery putting them above the queen as they are from a more upper class background. When Margaret enters he deals with her in a similar way to that of his dealings with Anne: – ignoring her insults but letting her have her say. No one knows how to react. They try to ignore her to please Richard but he asks them to pity her, this confuses them even more.
Every time Richard acts, confusion ensues, which shows once again Richard’s ability to control and manipulate people.Richard does not react quite as violently as Margaret might’ve hoped e. g.in answer to her 27 lined attack on him he answers with a fairly casual one lined curse, “have done thy charm, thy hateful withered hag.
” Margaret continually uses animal imagery to describe Richard, as do many of the characters: – “dog,” “rooting hog,” “bottled spider” and “bunch-back toad.” Margaret’s opening insults are a build up to her ultimate attack on Richard and, just when she is about to finish it of by uttering his name, Richard says her name instead of his, reversing her vicious curses on herself. This catches her off her guard and shows how Richard is able to improvise and think on his feet.He then shows apparent remorse and repentance, charming the group. Margaret makes them forget about Richard and unite in confirmation of her as an enemy whereas Richard is only suspected as an enemy. Richard turns a potentially vulnerable situation to his advantage: starting rumours of Elizabeth’s dealings in various different situations and focuses the group’s hatred on Margaret.
At the end Richard is praised for his “Christian-like conclusion. ” Only Margaret saw through Richard’s pretensions but she was dismissed as a mad woman and an enemy to the king.In his end soliloquy he sums up his position boasts once more of his genius, past conquests and he celebrates his own deviousness.
Clarence’s dream reveals much about his awareness of Richards’s actions but they foster on the edge of his consciousness only appearing in his dreams where, even then, he is not fully aware of Richard’s cunning. The audience is able to realise this when he talks of his dream as he says how he and Richard were fleeing to France on a ship. While on deck Richard appeared to stumble and fall, Clarence saw this and tried to rescue him but in doing so he was knocked overboard and drowned.He was then haunted by images of past enemies. He thinks he has entered hell. This lapse of conciseness caused one of Richard’s hench-men to reflect on what he was about to do and whether god will ever forgive them with several references to “judgment.
” However, after being reminded of the reward for his deeds his conscious is forgotten as there are more important things than the soul and everlasting life: – Where’s thy conscience now? Oh, in the duke of Gloucester’s purse. ” Clarence professes his innocence with questions doubting their actions.He tries to use Richard as a way to save his life: – “I will send you to my brother Gloucester who will reward you better for my life,” they try to disillusion him by telling him the truth. Clarence only realises Richard’s true intentions at the end but by then it’s too late. The show of consciences and remorse amplifies Richard’s apparent lack of conscience as even one of the hired murderers felt pity confirming other characters beliefs shown in their insults of the “devilish slave” and “dreadful minister of hell.