Messenger is a minor character in William Shakespeare's play, Richard III. Although his role is small, he plays a crucial part in the unfolding of the plot. As his name suggests, Messenger's primary duty is to deliver important messages to the other characters throughout the play. However, his significance extends beyond his job description, as he becomes a witness to the events that shape the story of Richard III.
Messenger is introduced early in the play when he delivers a message from Richard, Duke of Gloucester, to Lady Anne, the widow of Edward, Prince of Wales. This encounter sets the stage for Richard's manipulative and deceitful nature, as he successfully woos Lady Anne despite her initial hatred towards him. Messenger's presence during this pivotal moment highlights the power of words and persuasion in Richard's rise to power.
Messenger's most significant role occurs during the Battle of Bosworth, a climactic event in the play. He is tasked with delivering messages between the opposing sides, Richard and Richmond. This role places him in a precarious position, as he must navigate the treacherous battlefield and deliver accurate information to the respective commanders. Messenger's actions during this crucial moment demonstrate the chaos and uncertainty of war, as well as the consequences of miscommunication.
In Act V, Messenger delivers the news of betrayal to Richard, informing him that his allies have abandoned him, leaving him isolated and vulnerable. This message marks a turning point in the play, as it foreshadows Richard's impending defeat and demise. Messenger's role in delivering this news underscores the theme of betrayal and the consequences of Richard's ruthless pursuit of power.
Despite his limited appearances, Messenger serves as a conduit for important information and events in Richard III. He highlights the power of language and communication in shaping the narrative, as well as the consequences of deceit and betrayal. Messenger's character serves as a reminder that even the smallest roles can have a significant impact on the overall story.