Thursday, November 1, 2012

Richard III

Foreshadowing and Prophesy in Richard III

Shakespeare employs foreshadowing throughout most of the plays that we've read, regardless of the genre, in order to convey a sense of impending doom, anticipated comedic effect, or merely to keep the audience engaged and up-to-speed. In Richard III, along with plays like Macbeth and Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare uses either prophesies or parallel situations in order to foreshadow following events. The role of Queen Margaret is interesting in Richard III; a queen seeking revenge curses Richard and in an effort to prevent the effects of the curse, Richard sets the events in motion. This echoes Oedipus Rex; without the preventative measures taken to avoid the curse, it wouldn't have happened. Because the curse's intended effects are taken seriously and precautions to avoid it are put into affect, the following events lead to its completion. It is interesting to consider the commentary on superstition that this leads to. I wonder if Shakespeare was commenting on the negative effects of superstition, and asking his audience to consider the downfalls of belief in a superstition that leads to these disastrous results.

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