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Richard III

(Wars of the Roses #8)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  44,257 ratings  ·  1,770 reviews
"I feel that I have spent half my career with one or another Pelican Shakespeare in my back pocket. Convenience, however, is the least important aspect of the new Pelican Shakespeare series. Here is an elegant and clear text for either the study or the rehearsal room, notes where you need them and the distinguished scholarship of the general editors, Stephen Orgel and A. R ...more
Paperback, The Pelican Shakespeare, 158 pages
Published August 1st 2000 by Penguin Classics (first published 1593)
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) No. I would recommend seeing a film of the play, though, as it wasn't meant to be read--even aloud--but seen performed. Also, I recommend Al Pacino's …moreNo. I would recommend seeing a film of the play, though, as it wasn't meant to be read--even aloud--but seen performed. Also, I recommend Al Pacino's docudrama "Looking for Richard" which deals with some of the more confusing historical aspects (like so many people with the same names) and with the problems of the play itself. (less)
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Oct 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shakespeare
Richard III, abridged:

RICHARD: Mwahahaha! Mwahahahahaha! Mwahaha!
CLARENCE: Hey brother! So, I guess I'm being sent to the Tower of London. Sucks, right?
RICHARD: Don't worry, Clarence, you'll be fine. I'll try and get you out, and certainly won't hire assassins to kill you or anything.
CLARENCE: Awesome! You're the best!
RICHARD: Mwahahaha!
ANNE: You killed my husband and my son in the last play, you asshole! I HATE YOU SO MUCH!
RICHARD: I only killed your husband because you're so fucking hot.
Bill Kerwin
May 12, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I remembered this play as being nothing more than a superb melodrama organized around a charismatic, one-dimensional villain, but I now realize it is more complex than that.

Richard's deformity is not merely a physical sign of spiritual evil, but also a metaphor for the twisted era of internecine and intra-generational violence of which he himself is the inevitable conclusion. Richard claims that his disability disqualifies him for a peaceful age's love-making, but his effective wooing of Lady A
Ahmad Sharabiani
Richard III = The Tragedy of King Richard the Third (Wars of the Roses #8), William Shakespeare

Richard III is a historical play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1592. It depicts the Machiavellian rise to power and subsequent short reign of King Richard III of England.

The play is grouped among the histories in the First Folio and is most often classified as such. Occasionally, however, as in the quarto edition, it is termed a tragedy.

Richard III concludes S
Henry Avila
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A hero, in his own mind or a historical villain? King Richard the Third , grew up in the turbulent years of the War of the Roses, 1455-1485, the English crown fought between the House of York, symbolized by the White Rose, and the House of Lancaster, the Red Rose, Sovereigns on the throne, vanish rapidly, ironically, two branches of the same Plantagenet family. Richard's brother Edward IV, at 6 foot four inches, the tallest British monarch in history, is dying, over indulgences, so much food and ...more
Barry Pierce
Ah good old Dick III. Killing yer husbands, killing yer children. An all-round family guy.
Sean Barrs
"A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!

Poor old Richard. I think you needed more than that horse to save your kingdom…..
4 out of 5 stars to William Shakespeare's famous play, Richard III, one of his "War of the Roses" tragedies produced in the 16th century in England. People have generally heard of this King, and know more about him than they realize, but he is not one of the more famously read plays in high school or college, falling behind the more popular comedies and tragedies of Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and A Mid-Summer Night's Dream.

Why This Book
Although I read this
G.R. Reader
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I played Anne in my school's production of Richard III when I was 15. In the seduction scene from Act 1, the guy playing Richard, who was a complete asshole, decided to put his hand on my left breast somewhere towards the end. I turned round and punched him in the face, knocking out one of his teeth.

They had to end the play there and then and I got expelled, but it was worth it.
Leonard Gaya
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Shakespeare wrote two titanic tetralogies at the start of his career, spanning through the dynasties of 15th-century kings of England, from Edward III down to Henry VII. The second half of this gigantic saga (Henry VI, Parts 1, 2 and 3 + Richard III) has a general downward and inward movement.

Downward because it illustrates the collapse of a nation into political chaos. While Henry V was the apotheosis of a heroic king sent from heaven, all of Henry VI was a slow descent, and finally Richard III
Dec 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.”

A powerful study of evil.

Richard, though, is made to be more complex than the medieval personification of Vice, more human and thus, more terrible.

“No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity. But I know none, and therefore am no beast.”

Amalia Gkavea
“What do I fear? Myself? There’s none else by.
Richard loves Richard; that is, I and I.
Is there a murderer here? No. Yes, I am.
Then fly! What, from myself? Great reason why:
Lest I revenge. What, myself upon myself?
Alack, I love myself. Wherefore? For any good
That I myself have done unto myself?
O, no! Alas, I rather hate myself
For hateful deeds committed by myself.
I am a villain. Yet I lie. I am not.
Fool, of thyself speak well. Fool, do not flatter:
My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
Michael Finocchiaro
This was an exceptionally amazing play. Richard III is a bad guy on par with Iago from Othello and DC's Joker. He is brilliant and absolutely, totally ruthless. The play is action-packed and such a fitting fantastic end to the long series of plays that started way back with Edward III.

The play is so well-structured and the character of Richard III so evil that this makes for an incredibly intense and enjoyable read. We see Richard seize the throne in a moment of chaos (mostly fomented by him) an
E. G.
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
General Introduction
The Chronology of Shakespeare's Works
Introduction, by Michael Taylor
The Play in Performance
Further Reading

--The Tragedy of King Richard the Third

An Account of the Text
Genealogical Tables
Paul Bryant
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shakespeare

Here is an excellent and fun archaelogical story. They just found Richard III. He was under a municipal car park. People had been parking their Renault Clios and Ford Fiestas on top of him for years.
Now, we last saw Richard being killed in Shakespeare at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 :

SCENE V. Another part of the field.
Alarum. Enter KING RICHARD III and RICHMOND; they fight. KING RICHARD III is slain.

After that, allegedly, the body was dragged into Leicester (25 miles south of Nottingham
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end;
Shame serves thy life and doth thy death attend.”

― William Shakespeare, Richard III, Act IV.4


Shakespeare's first Masterpiece. I find it hard to not think of this as the beginning of Shakespeare's real reign. His characters are amazing. His images are haunting. His monologues are beautiful. Yes, certainly I still think his best is yet to come, but if he died only producing this, we would still sing his name for the next 1000 years. King Richard is a beast
I'm nearly speechless.

I'm certain that most of my inability to form words is because I read so much history, even a few days ago, about the War of the Roses, and then, having plowed through Shakespeare's line of kings from Richard II through Richard III, having history be retold in oft-pleasing shape (inaccuracies aside), the whole shape of that history has built up into such a crescendo of howling misery in my mind that I can't except get horribly emotional about all the players in these plays.
Simona B
Apr 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, in-english, 1500
I had to wait until the second-to-last page to hear him say "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!"
Not fair, Willy.

I will probably write something coherent sooner or later. For the time being, suffice it to say that it's clearly not a Hamlet.

The day after

I'm always like this. When I don't know what to write about something I read, I go all "Hey, girl, do not despair. You'll think of something. You have all this profound blabber inside your head and you just have to find a not too embarassing
Manuel Antão
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, favorites
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Killing Frenzy: "Richard III" by William Shakespeare, Burton Raffel, Harold Bloom
A typical king;
Killed everybody who got in his way;
A typical fat slob of a king;
Out to get his own greedy needs met;
Uses every individual who crossed his path;
More often than not, slap happy drunk;
Seen on numerous occasion dancing amongst the moon lit paths;
Often times his royal trousers would fall to his ankles causing the King to fall face down.
Was Sh
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end”

"Richard III" boasts one of Shakespeare's most gleeful and charismatic creations in the character of the deformed Duke of Gloucester. The greatest success of this long play is the interaction between the reader/viewer and the title character. Richard is a horrid human being, but we are reading or watching the play because we are entranced by him and his villainy. It is a sobering thought, one that should horrify us, but we can't help ourselves. We are dra
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York,
And all the clouds that lowered upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

Rating: 3 1/2 for reading, 4+ for seeing.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester. The lead. The future king Richard III.

He that hath here, in the first 41 lines of the play, surely the most revealing opening monologue in any of Shakespeare’s plays.

Further on, Richard declaims
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorou
Sep 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This. ARG! This play really made me FURIOUS!
*takes a deep breath*

First things first, the plot:
Edward IV is king, we learn from his brother Richard (called Gloucester for his dukedom) how he became king. Richard is described as an ugly hunchback and he vows to behave as is expected of him.

Next, he plots to have his brother George Clarence put away in the Tower of London (there is a prophecy here, actually quite a number of them, but this one says that Edward's heirs will be killed by "G" which Ed
Bam cooks the books ;-)
This is a second reading of the play for me. It paints King Richard III of England (1452-1485) as the greatest villain of all literature, a sociopathic monster willing to do anything to achieve his desire for power. During the recent US presidential campaign, there have been several articles comparing Richard III to Donald Trump. Time will tell.

And speaking of time, I've just finished reading Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time, which is a crime story that investigates the alleged crimes of Kin
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One day I may find the time and the energy to prepare some well thought out, elegantly composed, insightful and informative reviews of Shakespeare’s greatest plays – affording them with at least a modicum of the respect that they justly deserve. In the meantime – I am offering a few very quickly thought through ideas on what are undoubtedly the greatest (English language) literary works for the stage ever written.

The majority of Shakespeare’s 37 or 38 plays (depending on who you ask) are imbued
Richard is ugly, and the girls aren't interested. This really sours his attitude. He decides to plunge the country into another ruinous civil war; that'll show the bitches.

But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing wor
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk, 2019-read
I usually stay away from English Renaissance drama altogether, because the language alone is killing me (don't laugh, how do you fare at 400+ year old versions of your fourth language?). Yesterday, I came across the Schaubühne stage production of Richard III. though, directed by Thomas Ostermeier and starring Lars Eidinger - holy sh**!!! This was so insanely fascinating and powerful (proof: that I actually picked up the original English text, and you hav ...more
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Richard, what am I to do with you? Richard III is one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays which means that Willie wasn’t the Bard yet. It’s also one of his longest plays. I honestly couldn’t imagine sitting through a stage adaptation of it, unless there were five bathroom breaks. And it’s also one of the histories and boy let me tell you, I really don’t like the histories. [Even though I’m reconsidering their value because I’m enjoying Henry IV immensely at the moment.] So Richard and me were of ...more
Roy Lotz
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like many of Shakespeare’s early plays, Richard III is mostly full of flat characters, with just one or two that bear the bard’s characteristic stamp. Unlike Two Gentlemen of Verona or King John, however, this play’s most interesting character is mercifully at the center of the action: Richard III.

If Richard III had a great hankering for immortal fame, he could hardly have done better than to pull the double stunt of getting his body lost (later to be found under a parking lot) and being the sub
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The definitive performance of Shakespeare's Richard III is the 1955 film with Laurence Olivier , John Gielgud and Claire Bloom
One of the greatest movies of the 1950s and in fact of all time, Laurence Olivier took Shakespeare's historic classic and turned it into a stunning masterpiece.
As for those who criticize the movie for it's slight departures from the written play, they obviously do not understand the versatility inherent in Shakespeare which allows for rich adaptation.
The movie begins with

A really good, engaging play by the inimitable Shakespeare, but I must admit to kinda sorta preferring The White Queen's portrayal of Richard III, and therefore being a bit sceptical at the monster presented here.

"'I had an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him;
I had a Harry, till a Richard kill'd him:
Thou hast an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him.'
'I had a Richard too, and thou didst kill him;
I had a Rutland too, thou holp'st to kill him.'
'Thou hadst a Clarence too, and Richard kill'd him.'"

I mean
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more

Other books in the series

Wars of the Roses (8 books)
  • Richard II
  • King Henry IV, Part 1
  • Henry IV, Part 2
  • Henry V
  • Henry VI, Part 1
  • King Henry VI, Part 2
  • King Henry VI, Part 3

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