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Paperback Richard III Book

ISBN: 0486287475

ISBN13: 9780486287478

Richard III

(Part of the Wars of the Roses (#8) Series and Shakespeare's Minor Tetralogy (#4) Series)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Final play in Shakespeare's masterly dramatization of the struggle for power between the Houses of York and Lancaster. Richard is a stunning archvillain who schemes, seduces, betrays and murders his way to the throne, yet is capable of eliciting sympathy for his plight at the end. Explanatory footnotes and an introductory Note.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Shakespeare's Classic Villain

For better or worse, Richard III's enduring image of the cunning, hunchbacked usurper, more monster than man, is immortalized in Will's tragic history of his bloody rise and fall. This version contains good notes, a superb intro, and even illustrations to liven the text!

Devilishly Delightful

Having never read Richard III, I knew that I would be in for a treat, but nothing quite THIS good. Originally labeled as The Tragedy of Richard III by Shakespeare, one can see, upon reading this enthralling play, why this history/tragedy firmly entrenched itself as one of The Bard's most prolifically performed plays with almost unrivaled longevity due to its immense popularity among the genteel and yeomen alike.Although the much-maligned humpback King Richard was by no means a saint by any stretch, he was not, however, as wretchedly insidious as Shakespeare might have us believe. In an effort to pander to Queen Elizabeth, Shakespeare cast perhaps an overly morose shadow over the House of York. The play itself, interestingly enough, focuses not so much on the bloody ending of The War of Roses and the ascension to the throne of Henry VII(the grandfather of Elizabeth) as it does on the uncannily cunning connivances of Richard III. Richard's dastardly deeds, the sordid means to his end of usurping the crown, know no limits as he murders any and all who dare get in his way - and even those that don't(I suppose they're guilty by association). Inextricably, although I by no means empathize with him even remotely, Richard somehow, despite his inordinately decadent reprobate ploys, coupled with his twisted soliloquies pleading to the audience his hopeless case, make him one entirely enigmatic, yet entirely captivating, antagonist that makes this play enticingly enjoyable -- in a most devilish kind of way."O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!"

A Different Perspective on Richard

Shakespeare got away with this play because he is critical of two monastic houses that were no longer in power when he lived. The ultimate nod to the Tudors and Stuarts for whom Shakespeare worked, this play paints a picture of the York and Lancastrian dynasties as petty and foolish--as inbred buffoons. One of the most comic scenes (yes, I said comic) comes in Act II when the Duchess gets together with the wife of Clarence and his children and they all argue over who has the most to mourn.This play is a good sketch of human self-centeredness, and we like Richard perhaps because he is the only character willing to admit he's a hypocrite.By the way, I always recommend that students buy the Folger edition--this version eliminates the side-by-side in lieu of a comprehensive glossary parallel to each page of text.

Woa.

I'm a Ricardian, but I love this play--it's Shakespare at his finest. He manipulates the historical characters beautifully, especially Richard himself (and Richard then manipulates most of the other characters). The play opens with Richard, then Duke of Gloucester, who gives a poetic list of all the nasty things that he will do...why? Because he wants to be king? Partly. But there are plenty of psychological reasons as well (for instance, does anyone notice that once Richard does become king, he isn't as happy as he thought he'd be?).Slowly, Old Crookback's conscience begins to tug (forget the Sixth Sense, *he* sees plenty of dead people himself!). Some of my favorite quotes are to be found here, for instance:Anne Neville, to Richard, before accepting his proposal of marriage: "Never hung poison on a fouler toad. Out of my sight! Thou dost infect mine eyes."or"Off with his son George's head!" And of course "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!" and the very nifty little pun at the beginning of the play. (Richard's lines, of course.)You *do* begin to like him, that that *is* rather frightening!

veary good story.

It was veary dramatic book
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