Richard III Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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In Shakespeare's Richard III, what are the similarities between Richard and Richmond?

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In Shakespeare's Richard III, Richard (called Gloucester throughout much of the play) is a singular character in a number of ways.  From the very first act, Richard is portrayed as a physically disfigured individual who will do anything to achieve his goal - the English throne.  Richard lies, cheats, and backstabs, all in the name of that purpose.  While no other characters in the play show these particular colors to the extent Richard does, Richard's counterpart, the Earl of Richmond, shares some characteristics with Richard.

As mentioned, Richard, from the opening curtain, actively pursues the English crown.  Throughout the couse of the play, he employs various methods to move closer to this goal.  He conspired to kill those heirs ahead...

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1. They both use killing to achieve their means. However, their attitude towards the killing is entirely opposite. Richard is callous and indifferent about all the murders he orders, even those of his own family members and of the innocent child princes. Richmond deals with the killing that must occur in the Battle of Bosworth field as a necessary evil and shows no enjoyment in it.

2. They both want to marry Elizabeth, daughter of Edward. Again, their attitudes could not be more different. Richard glorifies the incest that he's suggesting when he argues with the previous Queen (mother of Elizabeth) while Richmond wants to marry her to bring peace.

These vague similarities in their character only serve to highlight their differences. The differences in their two characters are an important aspect to the play, both in terms of plot and character revelation.