, Research Paper
Was Richard the Third Evil
Richard the Third was thought to be an evil mastermind here are three main reasons as to why. The primary reason he was thought to be evil, is on his accession to the throne, a few of is relatives were died and he was later accused of murdering them. The Princes in the Tower were killed but no evidence was ever found to pin Richard to their deaths. Many contemporaries looked on him as the Devil
Incarnate Throughout history legends began that Richard was deformed in body and soul. (Wilson 354) Elizabeth Woodville was the mother of the princes, and she was not a forgiving woman, if she had felt that Richard had any part in the death of her sons, she would not have trusted him with her other son and daughters. As her prior behavior ahs shown Elizabeth was not a forgiving woman. (Richard III) It was not till after Richard s death that Henry VII was blackening his reputation. Henry s writers accused him of a list of crimes. (Richard iii) It seemed as if he was responsible for the deaths that surrounded him, but no proof was ever brought up.
A second reason as to why he was thought to be evil, was the death of his wife shortly after their son s short life ended. The king and his queen were at Nottingham Castle, when they heard the news of their son s death. A Croyland chronicler reported you might have seen his father and mother in a state almost bordering madness, by reason of their sudden grief. (Richard III) Another Chronicler reported that while Anne was ailing, Richard hastened her death to marry his niece Elizabeth. It was said, his niece appeared in a dress that was made in the same material of that of the queen. (Richard III Foundation) When Richard heard of this rumor, he gathered the most influential men and publicly denounced the rumor in London. This act demonstrated the kings courage and integrity. (Richard iii) These murders were deemed wicked, and Richard was to take the blame, but it was proved to only be a coincidence.
The last reason as to why he was thought to be an evil mastermind was the over exaggeration of Shakespeare s tales of the king. In one of Shakespeare s works he said that he would prove Richard to be wicked. I will prove him a villain! (Richard iii) Many peoples image of King Richard is usually influenced by Shakespeare s portrait of a limping, hunchback with a withered arm. Shakespeare wanted to reflect the medieval idea that an evil mind must dwell in a twisted body. (Gillum) Since his deformities were never recorded or portrayed in a drawing there was no proof of these myths. Sir Winston Churchill said, No one in Richard s lifetime seems to have remarked these deformities. (Richard III Foundation) The myth of his deformities, were just that myths, and there was no evidence to prove otherwise. Richard was overall a good king; it is a shame that the last of the Plantagenet kings has a blackened reputation because of the incidents that surrounded him, and the myths of deformity.