What was the motivation of Richard III in taking the crown of England?

Expert Answers
pippin1313 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Richard's main motivation for taking the crown was his ambition to gain power. Coupled with his innately evil nature, this causes the majority of violent and corrupt events throughout the play.

Another motivation apeears in his first soliloquy and this appears to be bordom and the need to create chaos for his own amusement:

And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
(I.i. 28-30)

Again, this motivation stems from his evil nature and results in civil war.

unspeakable49 | Student

Looking into Richard's past reveals a deeply troubled and psychologically distressing childhood. Because of his appearance and the supernatural beliefs of the Elizabethan society, Richard was shunned for the majority of his childhood. In adulthood, he has no hope for love - not romantic love, nor maternal love. This isolation has bred an evil in Richard and a desire to "prove a villain" which becomes so apparent through the course of the play. One of the reasons he aims for the crown then becomes his evil nature. Richard also wants all those who have treated him unfairly to suffer. The most thorough way of punishing his friends and family is taking the crown and changing the whole nature of politics in the court. Richard is also driven by his need to prove himself. He does not succumb to social pressures, and instead of accepting his condition as an invalid or one to be shunned, he uses all the negative emotion to fuel his ambition. Richard's ambitions do not centre around getting the crown - rather his greatest ambition is to prove himself as more than just a deformed courtier. The crown merely becomes the means to achieve his end.