Trickery or Treat in Richard the Third

Trickery or Treat in Richard the Third
In the play ?Richard iii?, Richard?s trickery and manipulation ultimately leads to his downfall. His goals are based on what he can get from others and how they can help him, not on helping himself. This paper shows how Richard uses his skills of trickery and manipulation to not only move up on the hierarchy, but to actually get elected king. He uses his trickery to get Anne his wife to help move up his position on the hierarchy; he uses his trickery to get elected and to get his men to fight for him and not for the better of the country.
Throughout the play Richard uses his trickery to persuade people to see things his way. In his conversation with Anne, he makes her believe that her beauty is the cause of death for both her husband and father-in-law. He tells her, ?Your beauty was the cause of that effect- / Your beauty, that did haunt me in my sleep / To undertake the death of all the world, / So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom.? (Act I, Scene ii p.66) After Richard tells Anne this she believes him, when actually all he really wants is to get closer to the crown by moving up in the hierarchy. Moving up in the hierarchy, and becoming one step closer to

king, is Richard?s goal in this conversation. Making Anne believe him was easy due to his skills to trick and manipulate others into thinking his way.
During the whole play Richard?s evil ways are easy to see for the reader, but for other characters in the play it was not so easy. He tricked and persuaded them to elect him king without even mentioning it. When there was no one else before him on the hierarchy he had them believe he was a holy man that was not suitable for the throne. This was all a disguise for them to just hand over the throne and practically beg him to be king. This is best shown in the conversation between Richard, Buckingham, Catesby, Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and citizens when Richard tells them ?Alas, why would you heap this care on me? / I am unfit for state and majesty. / I do beseech you take it not amiss, / I cannot nor I will not yield to you.? (Act iii, Scene vii p.145) Here Richard is using reverse psychology to make them think he was such a humble man. When actually he is a power hungry and very conceited man; he only does things when the outcome benefits him. He doesn?t care about others, he represents everything a king should go against: greed, manipulation, and gaining power.
In Richard?s last battle he makes his men believe Richmond and Richmond?s men are bad by tricking them. His men do not follow him because they trust him, but rather, they follow him because they are manipulated by him. Richard degrates Richmond?s army by saying, "A sort of vagabonds, rascals,

and runaways, / A scum of Britains and base lackey peasants, / Whom their o?ercloyed country vomits forth / To desperate adventures and assured destruction. / You sleeping safe, they bring to you unrest; / You having lands, and blessed with beauteous wives, / They would distrain the one, distain the other." (Act V, Scene iii p. 197) He says this to persuade his men into fighting with all they have. This technique is used by Richard to illustrate his desire to obtain the throne.
The over all story of the play is how Richard uses his gift to trick and manipulate his way to the top, only to fall as soon as he gets there. Using Anne to climb up in the hierarchy, tricking the citizens to elect him king, and persuading his men to fight as though they have something to lose is all for the short time he was king. He knows he used trickery and manipulation to get where he was and that is why at the end he doesn?t think twice about the war, even though the outcome was presented to him. Anne his once wife now deceased, tells him in his sleep, ?Richard, thy wife, that wretched Anne thy wife, / That never slept a quiet hour with thee, / Now fills thy sleep with perturbations. / Tomorrow in the battle think on me, / And fall thy edgeless sword; despair, and die!? Richard knew he was through but he didn?t value his life enough to change his ways. He knew he was done and he let his life end.

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