Responding to Oakridge's Post on Dreams
At Hockaday, we had a fun, in-depth discussion thanks to to Oakridge's post about Richard's dreams in Act V. We considered their questions:
"Is he haunted by his past in his dream in Act 5? Or is he plagued by fears about the future? Does Richard show signs of remorse and guilt? Or does he simply fear the possibility of defeat and loss of power?"
We felt that, yes, to some degree, he probably feels remorse and guilt when we examine his speech in Act 5 Scene 3. However, it is more like he's afraid of his conscience coming to haunt him. It almost seems as if he has a dual personality (Natalie made a good point that the speech reminded her of Gollum), so we never really got the sense that he did feel remorse, only that he nearly did and that he is struggling to reconcile his two identities. We found it interesting that he said that no one would pity him because even he doesn't pity himself. At this point, he seems almost resigned that "no creature loves [him]."
We tried to use this speech to contextualize one of the more famous lines: "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!" We thought that this quote had one of two implications: either Richard is willing to trade his wealth and power for a simple horse (in which case he only wants to survive) or he already recognizes that he has lost and he is simply lamenting that he lost his entire kingdom for lack of a horse. We felt that it was the latter case because of how frazzled he was just before the battle and because he seemed almost resigned to his fate.
When examining the speech, it is interesting that he doesn't think he is worthy of pity. Yes, he committed many terrible deeds, but he probably could have found a way to blame others for shaping his identity through their treatment of his deformity. However, we never get the background story as to why he wants power, and Richard never blames anyone for his actions, only telling us that he is determined to be a villain. Does this mean that Richard takes responsibility for his actions? Could we see him as a tragic hero, or is he truly a villain?
- Emily Z.