How does Richard in Act V of William Shakespeare's Richard III differ from Richard at the beginning of the play, and what has caused this change?


Richard III

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Although Richard changes situation in William Shakespeare`s play Richard III, he really does not change character. His initial speech (the `winter of our discontent`) shows him to be a dark, bitter, and evil character. Although we may have limited sympathy for him because we feel pity for his deformity, the original audience probably would have seen the deformity as God making outwardly apparent his inward evil. As Richard triumphs in his schemes, he gains more power and more scope for action, but his ambition and malice remain constant. At the end of Act V, having lost everything, he displays a sort of wild bravery born of desperation in battle, and at the very end, merely despair.


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