Drama Shakespeare, William Richard III (3rd)

ISBN 13: 9780141013039

Richard III (3rd)

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9780141013039: Richard III (3rd)

A history play whose villainous usurper is one of William Shakespeare's most memorably cunning and sinister characters, Richard III is edited by E.A.J. Honigmann with an introduction by Michael Taylor in Penguin Shakespeare.

'Now is the winter of our discontent

Made glorious summer by this sun of York'

Richard of York, the bitter, deformed brother of King Edward IV, is secretly plotting to seize the throne of England. Charming and duplicitous, powerfully eloquent and viciously cruel, he is prepared to go to any lengths to achieve his goal. In his skilful manipulation of events and people - coercing the king into eliminating the Duke of Clarence, next in line to the throne; imprisoning the King's sons, princes Edward and Richard, in the Tower of London; and purging court of any who might oppose his rule - Richard is a chilling incarnation of the lure of evil and the temptation of power.

This book contains a general introduction to Shakespeare's life and Elizabethan theatre, a separate introduction to Richard III, a chronology, suggestions for further reading, an essay discussing performance options on both stage and screen, and a commentary.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden some time in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. He wrote about 38 plays (the precise number is uncertain), many of which are regarded as the most exceptional works of drama ever produced, including Romeo and Juliet (1595), Henry V (1599), Hamlet (1601), Othello (1604), King Lear (1606) and Macbeth (1606), as well as a collection of 154 sonnets, which number among the most profound and influential love-poetry in English.

If you enjoyed Richard III, you might like Macbeth, also available in Penguin Shakespeare.

'Exciting, funny, sexy and violent'

Sir Ian McKellen

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Review:

"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

Review:

"Richard III's stage history is especially interesting and well presented." Bibliotheque Humanisme

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Book Description Penguin Books, London, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New Edition. 288pp New Penguin Shakespeare Series. [In stock in Australia, for immediate delivery] The bitter, deformed brother of the King is secretly plotting to seize the throne of England. Charming and duplicitous, powerfully eloquent and viciously cruel, he is prepared to go to any lengths to achieve his goal and, in his skilful manipulation of events and people, Richard is a chilling incarnation of the lure of evil and the temptation of power. Bookseller Inventory # 3189

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