According to Ted Hughes, Shakespeare resolves to investigate "man's tragic crime against himself and his brothers." Discuss the way this motif is developed in Shakespeare's Richard III.

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In Shakespeare's Richard III, the reader is witness to "man's tragic crime against himself and his brothers" right from the outset; the titular Richard gives his famous "winter of our discontent" speech to lament the ascension of his brother Edward IV to the throne. Richard also schemes against his other brother, Clarence, paying a soothsayer to prophesize his imprisonment.

When Clarence does indeed land in prison, Richard hires two hit men to murder him in his cell. Before taking his life, the murderers inform Clarence that his own brother ordered the killing. Clarence's death so startles Edward IV that he falls ill and dies as well. With the tragic crimes against his brothers complete, Richard falls into the role of Protector, one step closer to the throne.

To get even closer, Richard dispenses of various other family members, including Edward V, the Duke of York, and his wife, Lady Anne. However, at the most crucial moment, Richard's crimes come back to bite him; when he meets the Earl of Richmond on the battlefield, he is taunted by the spirits of all of his victims. Richard succumbs to his guilt and begs for forgiveness, giving Richmond the opportunity to murder him and take the throne.

Ultimately, Shakespeare demonstrates, Richard's crimes against his brothers were also crimes against himself; the guilt from his actions prevent him from obtaining the throne.

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