Seduction in Richard III


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Seduction in Richard III

 

Seduction is definitely a dominant theme in Richard III.  I

 

noticed another instance of it to go along with the ones discussed

 

in class the other night.  Richard's wooing of Lady Anne is more

 

than obvious than the example I've found; but, Act 1 scene 4

 

definitely contains another instance of seduction.

 

    This is Clarence's murder scene and the murderers have to convince

 

one another to actually carry through with the act.  Murderer One is

 

the first to exhibit a hint of hesitation.  When Brakenbury and the

 

keeper leave the cell Murderer Two asks if he should stab Clarence

 

while he sleeps and Murderer One says, "No, he'll say 'twas done

 

cowardly when / he wakes" (I.iv, 101-102).  After replying that

 

Clarence would not awake until Judgment Day, Murderer Two soon

 

expresses regret for being there.  "The urging of that word

 

'judgment' hath / bred a kind of remorse

 

in me" (I.iv, 107-108).

 

     From here on out neither murderer is very resolute in his actions

 

and I got the feeling the only reason the job got done at all is

 

because the duo was backed into a corner once the Duke awoke and

 

even then Murderer two did not participate in the killing.  They did

 

exactly what Gloucester urged them not to do and allowed the Duke

 

to awake and engage them in conversation thus prolonging the killing.

 

In the end it only Murderer One that goes through with the killing

 

as Clarence is able to touch the heart of the second murderer so much so that he

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so that he even tries to warn the Duke when the first murderer attacks.

 

After the deed is done Murderer Two is completely remorseful for his

 

part.  "A bloody deed, and desprately dis- / patch'd! / How fain,

 

like Pilate, would I wash my hands / Of this most grievous murther!"

 

(I.iv 271-273).

 

     In this scene seduction is only partially successful.          

 


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