I EssaysRichard III and Adolf HitlerIn William Shakespeare’s Richard III, we see Shakespeare’sinterpretation of despot rule and the parallels that stem from thisinterpretation. The character type of Richard has been examined and marveledfor thousands of years. From Plato’s examination of despot rule in theRepublic, we see the motives of what drives despot rulers.
A look at thebackground of Richard and how his upbringing and personal life contributed tohis insecurities will help to understand why someone may become a despot. Thecomparison of Adolf Hitler to that of Richard, shown by the modern motionpicture Richard III, will show the rapid rise and fall of the despot and thereality of totalitarian rule. Plato’s Republic, a fascinating look at the comparison of the just souland the unjust soul, allows one to see the philosophical motives behind despotrule. Despot rulers are simply driven by fear. Their anxieties andinsecurities lead to a hatred that has a desire to destroy, deep-rooted inviolence.Order now
Despot rulers are also never satisfied with the power they have atany given time, thus exposing their constant fear of retaliation from theirsubjects. This examination of the despot ruler by Plato clearly shows themotives by which despot rulers rule, but it fails to explain why and how thesemotives originate in the human mind. In order to comprehend why such a high level of fear and insecurity canbe brought about, a look at the upbringing and personal life of Richard shouldbe brought into discussion. One of three brothers, Richard was in constantcompetition of who would succeed in gaining the throne of England. Richard,like his other brothers, wanted the title of king quite badly, but as timepressed on it seemed less likely that Richard would succeed in gaining thethrone. His shrewd attitude and a physical deformity, that left him nearlyparalyzed, were two of the many reasons why Richard would be kept of the throne.
Richard quickly became aware of this and he therefore began his rampage toinsure himself the throne. After killing off his brothers and many others, whowere eligible to succeed, Richard finally became King of England. This titledid not bring comfort, and Richard continued to kill anybody who posed a threatin keeping him from remaining king. Richard’s reign as king lasted only twoyears, and during this two year period Richard was never once happy, thusshowing how the unjust soul will never be happy.
His insecurities and fearsworsened as he gained more and more power. This proves Plato’s examination ofthe unjust soul or the despot ruler. To understand why he became this way, onemust look at how his competitive nature was hindered by his deformities and howhe could not come to understand his disposition. It is clear that the motion picture Richard III aims to exhibit aparallel between the lives of Richard and Adolf Hitler, but why? The film aimsto show a universal theme: the reality of the despot ruler. Richard ruled overEngland during the sixteenth century, a time when totalitarian rule was quiteprevalent.
Hitler’s rule however, took place in the twentieth century, whichseems quite amazing seeing how the ideas of liberty and justice had beenaccepted by most western countries. What is more amazing is that Hitler wasable to gain so much power without military intervention by other countries. Bythe time the allies decided to take a stand, Hitler’s empire had conquered manyeastern European lands, and had occupation over France. Therefore, rule by a despot is something we must always be aware of. Though it is becoming harder to attain authoritarian rule because oforganizations such as the United Nations, one must never close our eyes to thefact that man was given the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and thepursuit of happiness. One also must never forget that government is meant topreserve these rights, not to take them away.
We must learn from history, notforget about it. We must take