Richard III Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What is Richard III's ultimate goal?

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Richard III is delightfully, gleefully straightforward about what his ultimate goal is. He tells us right at the beginning of his play (in fact, he tells us at the end of the last play he appears in as well: “Henry VI, Part Three”, and if you haven't read the three-part “Henry VI”, well, you should because they’re great fun.) Richard III's ultimate goal, of course, is to become Richard III. What I mean by that is he actually is not Richard III at...

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willowswriter | Student

In Shakespeare's Richard lll, the title character's ultimate goal is to be seated on the throne of England as its king. At the beginning of the play, Richard is fifth in line of succession to the throne. Edward IV dies mid-play of illness, leaving the Duke of Clarence and the two young princes, the Duke of York and Edward, in the way. Richard has Clarence imprisoned and killed, then has the two princes put into the Tower, supposedly for their own protection. 

Using false charm and clever machinations, Richard ascends to the throne. Soon after, the two princes are smothered in their sleep by Sir James Tyrell, a nobleman Richard enlists.

Richard achieves his ultimate goal. However, deformed at birth with a hunched back and possessing displeasing features, part of Richard's ultimate goal is gaining unquestioning respect, through the power and position of the throne.

Richard's success is short lived, though, his army soon defeated by the armies of Henry Tudor on Bosworth Field.