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Richard III Paperback – Apr 22 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (April 22 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300122020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300122022
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.9 x 1.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,273,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

"Now is the winter of our discontent," intones Richard, Duke of Gloucester at the beginning of Shakespeare's Richard III, one of his most abidingly popular plays, and one of the most chilling portrayals of political tyranny ever seen on stage. Richard emerges from the chaos which surrounds the reign of Henry VI, already dramatised by Shakespeare earlier in his career, determined to become king by removing his elder brother Edward IV by convincing him that their brother Clarence is plotting against the crown. The deaths of both Clarence and Edward take Richard inexorably towards the crown, and the series of murders and conspiracies that Richard masterminds confirms his claim that "I am determined to prove a villain". Richard's political and sexual charisma are truly chilling, and his seduction of Lady Anne, over her husband's corpse is one of the most disturbing scenes in Shakespeare. At another level, the play is also a strongly anti-Yorkist play, which has a vested interest in portraying Richard as such as vicious tyrant before seeing him toppled, ushering in a period of rule which prefigured the Tudor dynasty of which Elizabeth I was herself a part. The play has had a deep and lasting influence on audiences and writers; Brecht rewrote the play as The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, while both Laurance Olivier and Ian Mckellen have produced memorable film versions of Richard III, the latter updating the play into a 1930s fascist state ruled over by a Richard akin to Oswald Mosley. --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Thanks to the recent film version, Richard is again a hot property. This Dover Thrift edition is the most economical way to stock extra copies.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun of York, And all the clouds that loured upon our house In the deep bosom of the ocean buried. Read the first page
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Format: Paperback
"Richard III" is a fun play. It has some great lines like "True hope is swift and flies with swallow's wings/Kings it makes gods and meaner creatures kings" (not said by the title character, though) and of course "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!", the line that committed many men to the Richard III ward of Monty Python's Hospital for Overacting. But it also showcases the life and times of one of the meanest men ever to hit the stage: Richard, Duke of Gloucester, unlawful heir to the throne of England.
Richard's outward appearance is unfortunate -- he has a crooked back, is unlucky in love, and dogs bark at him -- but it's his inward personality that makes him unpleasant. He's cruel, selfish, manipulative, hot-tempered -- for dramatic purposes, he makes the perfect villain. Nobody seems to like him except his cronies Catesby and Buckingham, and even Buckingham later turns against him; even his own mother despises him after she figures out what a rat he is. On the other hand, he has all the positive qualities of a fighting underdog: Rather than wallow in self-pity over his deformity, he's decisive, fearless, and motivated. Only in the last act, when he realizes that he does indeed have a "coward conscience," does his confidence begin to falter.
Richard tells the audience in the very first scene what kind of guy he is and what he's planning to do, which is ultimately to become King of England, the office held currently by his brother Edward IV. To do this, he must arrange for the deaths of his brother George the Duke of Clarence, King Edward's sons, the Lord Chamberlain, and Buckingham, done by simply dispatching his henchmen.
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By Malice on May 5 2000
Format: Paperback
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."
"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!
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Format: Paperback
Richard III is the most well crafted satanic character in all of Shakespeare's writing. What can get frightening is that you see his evil, and yet you like him. The play is dramatically frightening from one scene to the next. To this day, I never could forget the scene where Hastings is sentenced to death or when Richard is haunted by the 11 ghosts. But the virtuous Henry VII also offers captivating passages (especially his passage that announces the end of the War of the Roses.) It is also interesting to see how carefully Shakespeare had to handle Henry VII, seing his granddaughter Elizabeth was in the audience. To be sure, Richard III is blamed for several things he did not do. The dramatic irony is that whatever he was innocent of, all the circumstancial evidence says he murdered his nephews.(Rumors that he killed them continued to spread like fire. Not only did he start losing England's loyalty, but many of his own followers in a rage abandoned him and joined Henry VII. France began to humiliate Richard by broadcasting official accusations and Richard never so much as denied having done it. If he could have produced the princes, his troubles would have been over.)This one vile deed made it possible for Shakespeare to make Richard this monster from hell and convincingly pile a slew of vile deeds upon him of which he was innocent. But all that aside, women such as Richard's furious mother and the raging former Queen Margaret add to the drama and chills. The gradual unfolding of Margaret's curses adds a charming orginizational bonus to this masterpiece. If you want to enjoy this play all the more, make sure you read "3 Henry VI" first. Richard's demonic nature is heavily prepared in this preceeding play.
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By A Customer on Aug. 11 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Shakespeare portrays King Richard III as a hunchbacked thoroughly evil man. While based upon the historical Richard III, the play is a dramatization. Although classed as a history, remember that Shakespeare's histories aren't historically accurate biographies. Richard is a power-hungry brother of a king who murders, schemes, marries, and plots to usurp the throne from rightful heirs. Richard gets his due when he meets Henry Tudor on the field of battle and the reign of the Yorkist kings comes to an end. Written under the rule of a Tudor monarch (Elizabeth I), the play paints the brutal Richard in an especially unfavorable light. After all, the rise of the Tudors depended upon the death of Richard III. The treatment of women in the play has been criticized, especially the speed under which Anne accepts Richard III -- with her dead father in law in the scene, no less. The play compresses 14 years or so of real history into 5 acts. It is hard to go wrong with Shakespeare. A good but dark read.
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