Richard III Good Vs Evil

489 Words2 Pages
Though many view Machiavelli as evil, his teachings are better seen as harsh and stable. Richard III has much to learn from Machiavelli, for his rule is unstable and overly oppressive. Machiavelli makes the distinction that one should either gain the subjects' approval or should crush them unforgivingly, two opposite extremes. Richard, however, switches between his type of ruling: somtimes he orders people to die, while other times he manipulates them, sparing their life. As Machiavelli teaches his audience in his book The Prince, if one hurts his subjects in a not fatal manner, they will strike back, seeking revenge; and this is exactly what happens to Richard. He is struck down in battle with Richmond, who leads the revolt against Richard and his "treacherous" ways.…show more content…
Not only does his lack of proper brutality hurt his rule, Richard's aforementioned inconsistency also inhibits the liklihood that others will follow him. As Machiavelli said, "A Prince, therefore, since he cannot without injury to himself practise the virtue of liberality so that it may be known, will not, if he be wise, greatly concern himself though he be called miserly." Thoughout the play, RIchard never makes the decision to fully accept the concept of being harsh and stern. Instead, he adopts the idea that he is evil and scheming, not to be trusted, and even then, he refuses to be considered fully evil, which can be seen in his dissembling speech in Act 5, Scene 5: "What do I fear? myself? there's none else by: Richard loves Richard; that is, I am I. Is there a murderer here? No. Yes, I am." His self-conflicting nature does not allow for a consistent, sturdy, and feared rule. Instead, it results in loathing from the
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