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Richard the Third

  • Date Submitted: 06/29/2010 07:09 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 61.8 
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The importance of act 1 scene 4
In Act 1 Scene 4, Clarence’s dreams and the delay of carrying out the murder of Clarence gives audiences an insight to Shakespeare’s world of the conscience.   The effect of this is to evoke aversion towards Richard because audiences are brought to see a contrast between Richard and his brother; and Richard and the murderers.   This contrast of how both the murderers and Clarence have a conscience and how Richard lacks conscience forces audiences to paint an image of Richard-an evil, immoral, malevolence character.  
This scene starts with Clarence describing his dream with a detailed description of hell.   The use of diction in his descriptions has connotations related to our senses, mostly sound and sight.   The use of “howled in mine ears”, “shrieked out aloud”, “hideous cries” creates an atmosphere of using our hearing to imagine how hell is like.   “howled” seems to be very aninmlastic, as if the torture of the lsot souls in hell are tortured as animals.   “shrieked” further emphasizes the torture and chaos in hell.   Constant references to sight such as “where eyes did once inhabit…scorn of eyes” illustrates …   By using references to senses,the Shakespearean audience can relate this description to how they viewed hell at that time.   This also raise awareness to Clarence as this image of hell has been ingrained in his mind till he subconsciously dreams about it.   The guilt that he feels when he was involved in the war of roses is portrayed in his vivid descriptions and when he later confesses with “O got!   If my deep prayers cannot appease Thee!”; letting audiences compare Clarence to Richard, who lacks conscience.  
Clarence also uses diction such as “environed”,   “methought that pain it was to drawn”, “melancholy flood”, “panting bulk, who almost burst to belch in the sea” that relates to being engulfed and trapped.   This not only adds to Clarence’s detailed image of hell but this dream is also a forboding of his death later on in...

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