Richard's wooing of Anne has strained the credibility of modern audiences and readers to an extent unparalleled by any other scene in Shakespeare. Much critical attention has focused on attempts to defend the realism of the scene. Denzell S. Smith, for example, shows how Richard "changes his pose to accord with the natural progression of Anne's emotions," from forceful prince, to "pleader," to "innocent," to "brazen lover" and so on as he anticipates Anne's reactions and meets them with a response that is psychologically (and dramatically) convincing. Anne's reaction to Richard is that of a defenseless small animal to a cobra: he hypnotizes her with his rhetorical motions, and refuses to release her until she yields. Anne's capitulation can be explained nicely in terms acceptable to modern students of human behavior.



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