The Tragedy of Richard III, written by William Shakespeare, is the story of the rise to power and short reign of King Richard III. In the play, Shakespeare portrays Richard as a ruthless man who lies, murders, and manipulates his way to the throne before being taken down by the man who will one day become King Henry VII. Richard III is a considered a tragedy in the classic sense of categorizing plays in Shakespeare’s day, and was deemed a tragedy based on the time it was written and the characteristics of the play.
The Tragedy of Richard III, was written in a way that the audience cannot help but love to hate King Richard. He is an evil, villainous character, but he is quick witted and smart and the way he is absolutely unapologetically evil is part of what draws the audience towards the character. Typically, a tragedy consists of a hero who has a flaw or a defect that leads to their demise. King Richard may not be a hero in the traditional sense, but he certainly had a flaw ( a complete lack of a conscience), and he falls to his demise when he is killed in the battle at the end of Shakespeare’s play.
Every single one of Shakespeare’s tragedies ends with the hero dying. This is not a characteristic of all tragedies, but in Shakespeare’s case, it is a recurring theme. Every one of Shakespeare’s tragedies ends in death. Good or evil- through Shakespeare’s eyes, ending a play made that play a tragedy. All tragedies, Shakespeare and other writers as well, include drama in their plays- in this sense, Richard III is a tragedy. Although the title was not designed to make the audience feel sorry for Richard, the title was more of a way to classify the play based on the characteristics of the time.