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Richard III by William Shakespeare

Richard III

by William Shakespeare

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: First Tetralogy (4), Shakespeare's Histories (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,366None1,610 (3.98)148
  1. 20
    The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey (bookwoman247)
    bookwoman247: This is a mystery involving Richard III and the two princes in the tower, and seems to have garnered a bit of respect. It's a great read on its own, and would make a great companion read to Shakespeare's Richard III.
  2. 00
    We Speak No Treason by Rosemary Hawley Jarman (KayCliff)
  3. 00
    Yorkists: The History of a Dynasty by Anne Crawford (KayCliff)

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» See also 148 mentions

English (37)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (41)
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Am I the only person who thinks Richard is kind of sympathetic? Seriously, *every* other person in the play is a moron. I've never been comfortable with Nietzsche's whole 'the weak gang up to ruin the world by undermining the strong' nonsense, but as an analysis of this book? Pretty good. Look, everyone in this play is morally repulsive. The difference between them and RIII is that the king's much smarter. He moves the pieces around the board pretty well. And for that he's the greatest villain the world has ever seen? I don't get it.

As for this edition (most recent Arden), it's got a very well-written introduction that provides a lot of background information; maybe too much background information. I would have liked a bit more interpretation. Same thing with the annotation, which was very heavy on the manuscript-variations but a bit light on historical information. But thankfully no fatuous 'thematic' interpretation stuff at all. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
Shakespeare may have embellished the historical truth a bit when he wrote Richard III, but he certainly knew a good story when he saw it. The War of the Roses between Lancaster and York from 1455-1485 following over 100 hundred years of warfare with France ripped the country apart and led to cruel murders on both sides. Many vied for the throne or to be an inch closer to it, and blind ambition was the order of the day from women and men alike. One of the horrifying outcomes was the famous ‘Princes in the tower’, with Richard III imprisoning his older brother Edward IV’s children to take the throne after Edward had died, and then disposing of them.

Shakespeare wrote the play a little over a hundred years later, around the year 1592, and the quality is impressive given its over 400 years old today. He painted Richard a bit blacker than he actually was, most notably making him the killer of middle brother George (Duke of Clarence), when it was actually Edward who had him drowned in a barrel of wine. In this story the will to power is concentrated into the character of Richard, who gains the throne but only after having done so many evil deeds that he is hated and isolated. His ambition starts with “Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by this sun of York” at the outset of the play, and ends with him tormented with a guilty conscience and then killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 after screaming “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!”, thus ushering in Henry VII as the first Tudor king. The tragic irony is that Richard has brought about his own destruction by destroying others.

Quotes; just this one on man’s inhumanity:
Richard: Lady, you know no rules of charity, which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.
Anne: Villain, thou know’st nor law of God nor man. No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.
Richard: But I know none, and therefore am no beast. ( )
1 vote gbill | Nov 29, 2013 |
With the understanding that insulting the ruler's grandfather was a de-earring offense, and that all plays had to be run by the Lord Chamberlain for approval before publication or performance, what do you do? You slag the man the grandfather took the throne from. Safe move, Willy!
And I've always been a richardian. I'm glad his corpse will at last come out from under the car park and be properly housed.
I keep quoting the play, and have read it....oh, six times from beginning to end. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Nov 28, 2013 |
I would have given this 4 stars except that it seemed to bog down in the middle... Seems very long for a play. Several famous soliloquies (Now is the winter of our discontent & A horse, a horse) and Queen Margaret was quite creepy. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 26, 2013 |
I read this for a class, and we examined it as a historical mystery which made it much more interesting than I think it would have been as a story in its own right. ( )
  Snukes | Jun 14, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (117 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shakespeare, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Day, Gilliansecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eccles, MarkEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Evans, G. BlakemoreEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, George B.Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holland, PeterEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holmberg, KalleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Honigmann, E.A.J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jowett, JohnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lamar, VirginiaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Newborn, Sashasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ridley, M. R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rolfe, William J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rossi, MattiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, Louis B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of York,
And all the clouds that loured upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told.
True hope is swift, and flies with swallow's wings;

Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings.
A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
This director's playbook contains the script of the play in wide format, with fifty square inches of blank space for sketching in ideas for each scene or part of scene, the main action, costumes, sets. Plus glossary for obscure words or references, separate sections to be filled in for director and staff, budget, timeline, program, publicity, pre-production, audition or casting, set design, costumes, props, lighting, sound, stage manager. 
The playbook is designed for high schools and colleges, but anyone with a budget, a cast and crew could benefit by keeping track of all the components needed for a theatrical production. Also, a link to customized scripts for all major roles. www.createspace.com/3962607
Eleven other Shakespeare plays are available in this unique format.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743482840, Mass Market Paperback)

Each edition includes:

• Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play

• Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play

• Scene-by-scene plot summaries

• A key to famous lines and phrases

• An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language

• An essay by an outstanding scholar providing a modern perspective on the play

• Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books

Essay by Phyllis Rackin

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit www.folger.edu.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:27 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

Contains the text of the play, information about Shakespeare and his theater, explanatory notes, and assesses the play in light of today's interests.

» see all 10 descriptions

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Three editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140714839, 0141013036

W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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Yale University Press

An edition of this book was published by Yale University Press.

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