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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: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #737,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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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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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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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By Guillermo Maynez on March 1 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This historical drama, not exactly accurate for all I know (but who cares, it's Billy) depicts one of the best bad guys in all literature, to the point of caricature (and this rhymes!). Richard III is the impersonation of ugliness and pure evil: he is a man both morally and physically malformed, who gives everything for the sake of a vain and insignificant moment of power. He is pure rancour enveloped in hypocrisy and treason. He kills his relatives, including his two child nephews, then he marries his rival's widow, and finally he gets what he deserves screaming: "A horse! My kingdom for a horse!"
"Richard III" is a wonderful satire; as always with WS, the dialogues are perfect and the action supreme. It is not intended to be real history, but a satire of ambition run amok, of the lonely obsession for power and of the depths of evil which humans can reach. It has humorous moments and it was, in its times, good politics, since Richard belonged to the predecessors in power of Queen Elizabeth's family . Another masterpiece by the Bard.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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!"
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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This play by Shakespeare is a fundamental achievement in drama. The main character is shown as evil but at the same time, if one can read properly and see all the details, he is the one who finally establishes the principle that the English king has to be accepted at least if not selected by the representative of the City of London, hence establishing the « constitutional » or « parliamentary » nature of the English Crown. It also establishes the fact that a bad king must give way to a good one, that it is a moral duty for everyone to fight against a bad king. We are miles away from the feudal acceptance of the king as the direct representative of God on earth and against whom all rebellion is unacceptable. The play builds up this moral resistance against the bad king little by little and makes it irreversible. Here we really touch the historical value of this king : he is a complete turning point in the English monarchy : the king has to accept being scrutinized and criticized by all the representatives of civil society, even if, for a time at least, these can be lured and cheated. Sooner or later good will prevail. This is Shakespeare's fundamental belief that tragedy comes from the disruption of a balanced situation by some crime and finds its resolution in the rebalancing of the situation by the elimination of the bad ones and the coming to the front of a new generation of good ones. The value of this belief in our present world is fundamental and essential.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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