What are specific examples of 'kingship' are seen in Richard III?My ideas so far: Contrast of Richard and Richmond when they are talking to their respective armies (act 5 scene 6) - Richmond shows...

What are specific examples of 'kingship' are seen in Richard III?

My ideas so far:

Contrast of Richard and Richmond when they are talking to their respective armies (act 5 scene 6) - Richmond shows more kingly qualities and inspires his army, Richard fails to do so.

Also, contrast of Richard and Richmond in terms of their faith.  Richard in act 3 scence 7 only pretends to be praying in order to gain support and appear to be 'good'.  However Richmond actually prays and continually expresses that God is on his side, the side of good.

Any other specific examples and the significance of the 'theme' kingship' to the play as a whole would be greatly appreciated.

 

Expert Answers
accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One clear way in which kingship is presented and discussed in this play is through the presentation of the common people and their feelings and thoughts about the violence amongst the ruling classes that goes on. This is a radically different perspective that is offered, as obviously whoever rules them and the kind of person that they are will impact their lives massively. One such scene where this is explored is Act II scene 3, where the news of the death of the king and the uncertainty and doubt about what will happen now given that his heir is a minor is explored from the point of view of the common people. Note some of their concerns:

O, full of danger is the Duke of Gloster!
And the queen's sons and brothers haught and proud:
And were they to be rul'd, and not to rule,
This sickly land might solace as before.

This quote is key as it reveals how the public feels about Richard and also the other monarchs. It reflects the way in which the identity of the king has such massive ramifications on them and their day to day life. Eventually, the attitude of the common people is expressed in this scene as being the responsibility of God alone, as they believe it is he who decides who is king and who will take power. One other way in which kingship is explored therefore in this play is through the views of the common people about their ruling classes and the impact that kingship has on them.

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Richard III

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