Richard, in the play Richard III by William Shakespeare, is a very twisted character because apart from being a brutal murderer, he is a manipulator of other characters. He murders people in an effort to quench his thirst for power and has got no apologies for that. In the play, he manipulates almost everyone and in almost all instances, gets away with his actions. Of all the characters in the play, who he managed to, manipulate is Lady Anne. His pretentious character makes her believe that he is in love with her and she falls prey to his antics. She allows him put a ring into her finger even at the point when she was mourning her husband Prince Edward and father in- law King Henry VI. Richard is very mischievous and this allows him play with the mind and feelings of Lady Anne. But to imagine that he can get away with this is far too disturbing but then the truth is, he achieves his mission as a pretentious lover.
Richard succeeds and wins over Lady Anne mainly by manipulating her. He manipulates her physically, psychologically and emotionally. Apparently, Lady Anne knows all the flaws of Richard but then one wonders how she fall victim of his lies. He is a smooth talker and uses language to convince every one of his actions and the reason he does the things he does more especially as seen through Lady Anne. He fools everyone else into thinking that he is good and innocent and these are the same tricks that he uses on Lady Anne. Even so, Lady Anne is very much aware of the vices he commits but this notwithstanding; she goes ahead and fall victim of his actions. He is a schemer and because she is an object that he desires, he has to act his part in an effort to win her over.
Lady Anne may have given in to Richard’s solicitations because he left her no option but to accept him. After killing her husband, Richard tries to convince her that she murdered her husband because of her beauty and because he was in love with her. Again, Richard told Lady Anne to “take the sword or take me up” (1.2 172.) This means that lady Anne had to choose to marry him or murder him. Lady Anne may not have wanted to kill and so was left with no option but to marry him. Again, if she is to maintain her status in society, she was left no choice but to get married to Richard. The circumstance under which she finds herself to some extent prevails and therefore just makes the decision to get married to Richard, the murderer.
Similarly Richard tries to play the same treachery into winning over his niece young Elizabeth. He goes on to ask for her hand in marriage and her mother, Queen Elizabeth uses this chance to forestall him. She tells him point blank that she will not allow her daughter to be married by him. She proves to him that she is not as helpless as he may think. Richard tries to lie to her that his violent actions were due to her daughter’s beauty, the same trick that he used on Lady Anne. The Queen Mother vehemently rebuffs him and tells him that “Nay, Then indeed she cannot choose but hate thee/ having bought love with such a bloody spoil” (4.4. 289- 290). She is therefore a strong woman in her resolute in fighting for what is right. She is the exact opposite of Lady Anne and therefore, the tact that Richard uses on both women works in one, Lady Anne and fails in the other, Queen Elizabeth.
Shakespeare William. The Norton Shakespeare: Comedies. New York: W. W. Norton & Company Inc. 2008