King Richard III Essay

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Critics have studied the women in Richard III for their significance both as individuals and as a group. Madonne M. Miner, for example, focuses on the play's misogyny (the hatred of women), stating that Richard continually blames women instead of accepting the guilt which is really his own. Miner and Irene G. Dash also discuss the women's role as "ciphers" or "non-persons," especially after they become widows and their sole source of power and of social identity-their husbands-is gone. Both critics note a positive element of women's fate in the play: Through their adversity, the women eventually identify with each other and unite against Richard.

Taken individually, the four women each pose certain problems for critics. E. M. W. Tillyard regrets that Shakespeare included the scene (Act IV, scene iv) in which Richard asks for Queen Elizabeth's blessing to marry her daughter. Tillyard states that Elizabeth's weak submission...

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This section contains 6,620 words
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Buy the King Richard III Study Guide
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King Richard III from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.