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Richard III Paperback – Apr 22 2008
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"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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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
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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!
Most recent customer reviews
SECOND MURDER Zounds, he dies: I had forgot the reward.
There is no good place to start on the play "The Tragedy of Richard III" by Shakespeare without having spoilers. Read more
Book was written in the old english grammar and you need to understand when it was written, for whom it was written, and why it was written,meaning time line and age of... Read morePublished on Nov. 11 2012 by fileman
Shakespeare's plays were meant to be enjoyed in a theatre. Reading his scripts is difficult and clumsy at best and the only reason I own this book is that I had to buy it for a... Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2012 by David Sabine
Stephens is a bit much as Richard (does he have to yell so often?) but the supporting cast, with Michael York in a multitude of roles, Dame Peggy Ashcroft as Margaret, Glenda... Read morePublished on Sept. 17 2000 by meiringen
This edition has one of the best introductions I've read: informative, well-written and with photos from productions of R III. Read morePublished on July 12 2000 by Dr. Richard D. Feinman
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this book is how, despite how evil and violent Richard is, you root for him the whole way. Read morePublished on Jan. 9 2000 by Gregory Baird
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