“His Modesty Amounts to his Deformity”
Richard III Deformities
“Cheated of feature by dissembling nature, / Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time” (I.i.19-20). Richard being born corrupt and incomplete showers his ruthless burdens upon the audience. He has been vulnerable to the many hardships in life due to his deformity and exclusion from society. When he becomes conscious that he will be unable to live a typical life he states “And therefore, since I am cannot prove a lover. / To entertain these well-spoken days. / I am determined to prove a villain” (I.i.28-30). He is internally affected and has an unsheathing desire to prove himself against the wants of society. Therefore, in Richard III, the ostracization from society had led Richard to battle to the position of the crown as he becomes burdened by his own physical, familial and psychological deformities.
Richard’s physical deformity as a result of being discarded by society becomes the cause for him to unleash his true malicious nature and wreak havoc to the kingdom. “That he could gnaw a crust at two hours old,” (II.iv.28). Here the depiction of Richard’s physical deformity is clear; we are given an insight of his malformed appearance, sadistic nature and rotten soul. This outward figure could be an indication to the audience of his disharmony of character and viciousness of his spirit. Conversely it is possible that it is the mistreatment and disregard he suffered due to his physical deformities have altered his perspective on the human race with can be compared to Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Constantly aware of his deformities, his personality has become soured and warped giving us the portrayal of a Machiavelli figure; he has the desire to rise in the world by means of fraud, deceit and treachery. Thus he can be identified as the crooked-backed dictator who is a symbol of fear to all around him. With a kind of jolly ease, he goes on to sketch himself.
But I, that...