King Richard III Play

            “The Life and Death of Richard the Third” is a Shakespearean play which depicts Richard III, Earl of Gloucester, as a cunning and treacherous prince who would do anything to take the throne of England. All of those around him fell into his hands, which in turn, led to his inevitable downfall at the hands of the Earl of Richmond who became Henry VII of England later on. In the play, some parts were deemed unnecessary since the play would still flow accordingly even with those parts’ absence.

            The first part that I believe to be unnecessary is the first Act, Scene 4, where the would-be King of England, Clarence, was pleading to the murderers to spare his life. This scene shows a sign of weakness from the part of Clarence, but that sign of weakness have already appeared in earlier scenes. The show of weakness would have deemed Clarence as unworthy to be crowned as King. One example of this is the scene where he woke up from a terrible nightmare. This scene also reveals shards of the treachery that would soon befall him. Thus, the short conversation with his murderers appears to be unnecessary. It could have been reduced to a simpler scene: one of the murderers revealing who sent them and then killing Clarence, with his face in shock and disbelief before receiving his fate.

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            The second part may have looked like essentially relevant. It was the part when the Scrivener was holding a paper and seemed to have been reacting to Lord Hastings’ beheading by Ratcliff and Lovel after all of them left. It simply told of Lord Hastings’ fall at the hands of the cunning Gloucester and his followers. It repeated what was presented the scene before this monologue. It looked a little redundant, thus marking it as an unnecessary part of the play. With the removal of this part, I believe the play could still flow on steadily since it was already revealed that Lord Hastings has been executed (beheaded), a scene before this one and with key characters involved.

            The last part that seems unnecessary is the scene where Tyrrel announced the bloody murder of the two young princes, sons of the late Clarence, who were locked in the Tower of London. It appears to be unnecessary because it does not need to be announced further since it was already revealed in the scene before it. It was also seen as unethical to show even if it was for a play since it was still the murder of two children. On a technical aspect, it would be best if it were shortened or mentioned in a single line. It gives more leeway for the succeeding scenes. The following parts are deemed important since they show the treachery that King Richard III was about to face against some of his former allies.

            Removing these three parts would not really affect the play’s fluidity at all. The essence of the play and the development of characters—one example, Gloucester transforming into King Richard III later on—would still be comprehensible. These scenes or parts were proven to be unnecessary since the two of them just repeat what happened on the previous scene while the first one just reasserts the character showing signs of weakness; weaknesses that was not fit for a King. Hence, on a technical aspect, the following scenes would just take up more time and breathing room for the more important scenes of the whole play.

 

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