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Perhaps the advice of knowing your enemy is appropriate. Yes, he is a villain and even tells us he is and why. He is a silver tongued devil, so to speak and can get other to do what he wants. He is a master at manipulating language and people.
Mankind hasn't really changed a lot when it comes to power. History has shown us that when a man wants power, he will do just about anything to get it.
Ask yourself what the difference is between modern politicians and their quest for power and Richard. Not all politicians are like Richard but by reading the play, we can hopefully learn to read the signs of of men like Richard.
Richard is a wonderful character to study and Shakespeare has given us a great insight.
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