Richard - the multi-faced villain
It certainly needs a good actor to play the role of Richard III., because
we can call him a genuine hypocrite:
Richard is multi-faced within the drama and shows his different faces considering the situation he finds himself in.
Within the drama the audience is able to recognize more than eight different faces, which Richard exposes:
Richard III. has always a desire for personal power. This means Richard is guided by his goals and does everything to reach them. He does not care if he has to murder for his aims.
That shows that Richard is a very intelligent and clever person and also a good actor, because everybody believes him when he plays one of his roles. That way he finally becomes King of England.
Richard knows that he is a villain because he proves to be one constantly and deliberately, which can be seen from his first monologue:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days."
But Richard is not schizophrenic: he is always aware of his actions
and uses them to profit from them.
Maybe this moral deformity is caused by his outward appearance and physical deformity.
As we listed, Richard III. plays the devoted brother in the first scene of the play, when he pretends concern about the Duke of Clarence`s imprisonment and speaks to him:
After this statement Richard pretends that he wants to help Clarence, so that he will be free:
The use of dramatic irony certainly gives the reader reasons to think about his different faces, since he does not know whether Richard wants to save him or to execute him. Again he plays the role of the devoted brother when King Edward IV wants the reconciliation within the family.
"A blessed labour, my most sovereign lord.
Among this princely heap-if any here
By false intelligence or wrong surmise
Hold me a foe-"
Another face Richard shows is the role of The Witty Wooer in Act I, Scene 2, 177-179:
To gain the support of all noblemen, who decide whether to make him king or not, he pretends to be The pious convert:
When Richard welcomes the young Prince he switches into the role of Thebenevolent uncle and calls him:
Richard exposes himself as the only concerned uncle and just wants the best for his "little" Prince.
Richard shows a very unusual face when he feels like a Cornered, sweating rat at the end of the drama:
This is the first time Richard thinks about the victims of his deeds. He exposes one of his faces he cannot control and which is not shown on purpose, because this part is a soliloquy.
By saying this last line of the drama
he notices the hazardous situation, though he wants to prove a brave soldier. Richard becomes aware of his weakness. He fears the souls of the people he murdered and additionally realizes the enormous force and power of his enemies.