Oh I just can’t wait to be king!

Richard III is such a interesting play, it drove me insane when reading it, mostly because of the family dynamics. The character Richard, is so dead set on becoming king, that he will literally do anything to achieve his goal and become king. It’s actually kind of terrifying to think that someone would willingly go to such extremes to become a King. After killing Lady Anne’s husband, and Father-in-law, Richard decides that he must marry Lady Anne if he wants any sort of chance in becoming King. He finds it totally acceptable to kill a woman’s husband, and then smooth talk his way into marrying her. But then to make matters for him even more unacceptable, he realizes that his brother, who is currently the King, dies. And Clarence the other brother who would achieve the throne is out of the picture, Richard is temporarily crowned King.

He would be King until one of Edward’s sons, Edward prince of Wales, and Richard Duke of York were old enough. So in Richard’s deranged mind, he ever so casually decides that his nephews, the princes, must be killed. So, he hires someone to kill them. What kind of leader is this? I would certainly be afraid to live in a time where the “King” would kill his way to the top, especially if that means destroying his own blood! Shortly after the princes are murdered, Richard knows there is only one thing standing in his way, of “officially” being King. He needs to marry Edward’s daughter, Elizabeth, his niece! This way, he can ensure himself that no one else can steal this from him. If Elizabeth were to marry someone else of the right lineage, they could have a baby boy, and that boy would have the rightful heir to the throne, and again Richard would be shit out of luck.

Now, as screwed up as all of this is, I completely understand why Richard does this. I don’t understand his brain what so ever, but I understand that he is just trying to do what he has to do in order to be King. Do I think everything he is doing is wrong, sick, and disgusting? ABSOLUTELY. I think Richard III is an absolute selfish pig, but it did make me wonder if any other King has fought, and killed his way to the top. So I tried to do some light research to attempt to find this out. But, I wasn’t sure how to search it online. So, unfortunately I found out nothing, but that doesn’t mean that this didn’t happen often. The men during this time, are all portrayed as barbaric, so it wouldn’t shock me in the slightest if a brother betrayed his family, murdered everyone in his way just to be the King. Part of me wishes that I could be a therapist during the time of Richard III’s life, so that I could ask him” what the hell was he thinking!!?”

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4 thoughts on “Oh I just can’t wait to be king!

  1. caitgee7

    Well, I’m sure this isn’t the first time this has happened in history. I think that Richard III sticks out because (as we see in the play), Richard has no problem killing his family or anyone else who stands in his way. Richard is power hungry, to say the least. That is his motivation, what is more powerful (on Earth) than being king? Apparently nothing. I think it is interesting to consider that Richard is deformed (and clearly insecure) but he also feels cheated. He wants to be King, so he does whatever it takes-as you’ve stated. He’s just not very patient, he just pushes his way to the top of the list with a little murder and deception. This was during a different time, but if you think about it in contemporary terms, politicians are known for their lying, etc. Today, you wouldn’t see anyone killing their family members to become President but there are other methods I’m sure. Deception and lying is similar, but the motivation is the same: doing whatever you might deem necessary to get what you want. This is an interesting point of view to consider.

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  2. cmstewart024

    You bring up a point that I have also been thinking about; is Richard alone in his attempt to reach the throne? I would say no, because I think of also of Shakespeare’s plays, Macbeth and Hamlet. In both, the main antagonist’s evil doings revolve around their desire to become king. So maybe to answer your question, yes, Richard should not be singled out as the only villian to kill his way to be king. But, another aspect to take into consideration is that besides Richard III, Shakespeare’s other plays are fiction. Therefore, it makes the reader wonder where were laws put in place that held those who committed crimes like murder and treason accountable for what they did. The idea of that would suggest that maybe these acts of violence portrayed by Richard were not exactly representative of the time. Interesting points!

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  3. sielittrell

    Richard’s attitude towards obtaining power through any means necessary is what makes him the perfect model for a character/ plot in a play. Whether it was common antics or not, it still made for some pretty good entertainment. Not to mention the fact that this could serve as a warning to future generations or as a critique of how power was gained in Shakespearean time (or before his time, or even after his time.)

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  4. Diana

    Yeah I agree with you. It is really annoying to see someone so obsessed with power. I honestly don’t see what is so great about getting to be King…The amount of murder in this play is almost comical for me. He kills people/has them killed as if it is no big deal. He really seems to me to be really de-humanizing. I wonder what the ‘benefits’ of being king are for him. Honestly though, does wealth and “power” (not real ‘power’ if you ask me) really mean all that much to someone? Seems like a huge ego trip that ends with constant destruction of other peoples’ lives, just so that he can “advance.”

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