Walter Scott’s Kenilworth
Q. Richard Varney may not be an Iago or a Satan, he is none the
less a villain to remember. Elucidate upon this statement.
Introduction: Villains can be worth enjoying. Over the age literature
has some of the greatest characters in the form of villains. The classic
examples of villainy as many critics have observed, happen to be
Milton’s Satan and Shakespeare’s Iago. They have immortalized and
set standards for writers while developing a villain for their plot.
Richard Varney, the Villain: Walter Scott’s Kenilworth is rich with
the beauty of Amy Robsart, the true love of Tressilian, the ambitious
Earl of Leicester and the splendour of Queen Elizabeth. Yet the
character who makes the reader to sit and enjoy the unfolding of the
plot is Richard Varney. He keeps them spellbound from his first
appearance at the Cumnor Place to his final when he kills himself in
the prison cell.
Richard Varney and His Background: Richard Varney’s background
is not impressive. He enters the service of the Earl of Leicester as the
Master of his horses. He acts as the Earl’s chamberlain and in course
of time wins his heart by hard work and loyalty. Impressed by his work,
the Earl rewards him by making him his Squire in position and a
confidant of his personal life. His phenomenal growth fuels his desire
to become more powerful and it all depends on the fate of the Earl of
A.Vinodh / Walter Scott’s KENILWORTH
Richard Varney – The Manipulator: Fueled by his over vaulting
ambition, Varney becomes blinded. His only ambition is to become the
most powerful person of England. He however does not have a royal
background to make it a reality. His realistic chances were to become
the next most powerful person to the supreme power of England. He
identifies that this is possible with the ace, the Earl of Leicester, in his
hand. He play his cards very carefully. He manipulates with the
ambition of the Earl and makes...