Happy Friday everyone!! I hope you are all enjoying your week and are excited for the weekend! I’m super excited after work on Saturday I will be heading into the city for a concert with a dear dear friend!
But today, I wanted to talk about one of my absolute favorite Shakespeare plays which is Richard III.
Now, I love Richard for multiple reasons but the main reason is Richard, simply the character of Richard and what he does to the audience.
And what he does is make the audience question their morals, whether you realize it or not.
Richard, by play standards is the villain… But it’s not so simple.
Shakespeare, the genius that he was, makes it so that the opening soliloquy is given by Richard himself. Soliloquies, for those who don’t know, are when the character speaks directly to the audience with no other characters on stage because that character needs something from the audience; which is why Richard is such a conflict for the audience because we bond with him. He is the first thing we see and the first person we hear when the curtain rises (or if we’re at the Globe when he himself walks out) making us instantly having a relationship with him whether you want to or not. Why?
Because Shakespeare now made our main source of information, we now identify with him and root for him… But he’s the villain, no?
We don’t necessarily realize that this is happening until *spoiler alert* he basically goes on a killing spree. Making the audience question whether or not they can still root for this man, who had the throne taken from him because of him being deformed.
So who’s side are you on? Do you side with the villain because he gives us the information that no other character gives us? Or do you stop rooting for him because of the people he murders to get back to the top?
It’s an extremely interesting play, I find, for that exact reason. Whenever I see this play performed, my favorite thing to do is watch the audience. For that exact reason, their faces usually reflect how they feel and the internal conflict that arises in them whether conscious or subconscious is alway fascinating to watch.
As we know, if you’ve been following my blog for the past two years, Shakespeare and his soliloquies are my speciality (I spent two years working on them for my degree and thesis). And I find this play, Richard III, the most fascinating because of how he makes the audience react to Richard himself.
Personally, I am a fan of Richard, I usually always love the villains haha! But because of his words and his reasons behind his motives I find compelling and just, again that’s just my opinion.
And that’s why Richard III, is one of my all time favorite Shakespeare plays. What do you think? Would you still root for Richard?
Until next time,