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!"