Overview

This timeless tragedy follows the bloody path of the "rudely stamped" Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who uses his murderous guile to achieve the throne of England.



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Richard III

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Overview

This timeless tragedy follows the bloody path of the "rudely stamped" Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who uses his murderous guile to achieve the throne of England.



This edition features an overview of Shakespeare's works by Sylvan Barnet, former Chairman of the English Department at Tufts University, as well as a comprehensive stage and screen history, dramatic criticism from the past and present, and sources from which Shakespeare derived this great work.



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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440628481
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/1/2000
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 388,963
  • File size: 593 KB

Meet the Author

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE was born at Stratford upon Avon in April, 1564. He was the third child, and eldest son, of John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. His father was one of the most prosperous men of Stratford, who held in turn the chief offices in the town. His mother was of gentle birth, the daughter of Robert Arden of Wilmcote. In December, 1582, Shakespeare married Ann Hathaway, daughter of a farmer of Shottery, near Stratford; their first child Susanna was baptized on May 6, 1583, and twins, Hamnet and Judith, on February 22, 1585. Little is known of Shakespeare’s early life; but it is unlikely that a writer who dramatized such an incomparable range and variety of human kinds and experiences should have spent his early manhood entirely in placid pursuits in a country town. There is one tradition, not universally accepted, that he fled from Stratford because he was in trouble for deer stealing, and had fallen foul of Sir Thomas Lucy, the local magnate; another that he was for some time a schoolmaster.

From 1592 onwards the records are much fuller. In March, 1592, the Lord Strange’s players produced a new play at the Rose Theatre called Harry the Sixth, which was very successful, and was probably the First Part of Henry VI. In the autumn of 1592 Robert Greene, the best known of the professional writers, as he was dying wrote a letter to three fellow writers in which he warned them against the ingratitude of players in general, and in particular against an ‘upstart crow’ who ‘supposes he is as much able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you: and being an absolute Johannes Factotum is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country.’ This is the first reference to Shakespeare, and the whole passage suggests that Shakespeare had become suddenly famous as a playwright. At this time Shakespeare was brought into touch with Edward Alleyne the great tragedian, and Christopher Marlowe, whose thundering parts of Tamburlaine, the Jew of Malta, and Dr Faustus Alleyne was acting, as well as Hieronimo, the hero of Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy, the most famous of all Elizabethan plays.



In April, 1593, Shakespeare published his poem Venus and Adonis, which was dedicated to the young Earl of Southampton: it was a great and lasting success, and was reprinted nine times in the next few years. In May, 1594, his second poem, The Rape of Lucrece, was also dedicated to Southampton.



There was little playing in 1593, for the theatres were shut during a severe outbreak of the plague; but in the autumn of 1594, when the plague ceased, the playing companies were reorganized, and Shakespeare became a sharer in the Lord Chamberlain’s company who went to play in the Theatre in Shoreditch. During these months Marlowe and Kyd had died. Shakespeare was thus for a time without a rival. He had already written the three parts of Henry VI, Richard III, Titus Andronicus, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Comedy of Errors, and The Taming of the Shrew. Soon afterwards he wrote the first of his greater plays – Romeo and Juliet – and he followed this success in the next three years with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard II, and The Merchant of Venice. The two parts of Henry VI, introducing Falstaff, the most popular of all his comic characters, were written in 1597–8.



The company left the Theatre in 1597 owing to disputes over a renewal of the ground lease, and went to play at the Curtain in the same neighbourhood. The disputes continued throughout 1598, and at Christmas the players settled the matter by demolishing the old Theatre and re-erecting a new playhouse on the South bank of the Thames, near Southwark Cathedral. This playhouse was named the Globe. The expenses of the new building were shared by the chief members of the Company, including Shakespeare, who was now a man of some means. In 1596 he had bought New Place, a large house in the centre of Stratford, for £60, and through his father purchased a coat-of-arms from the Heralds, which was the official recognition that he and his family were gentlefolk.



By the summer of 1598 Shakespeare was recognized as the greatest of English dramatists. Booksellers were printing his more popular plays, at times even in pirated or stolen versions, and he received a remarkable tribute from a young writer named Francis Meres, in his book Palladis Tamia. In a long catalogue of English authors Meres gave Shakespeare more prominence than any other writer, and mentioned by name twelve of his plays.



Shortly before the Globe was opened, Shakespeare had completed the cycle of plays dealing with the whole story of the Wars of the Roses with Henry V. It was followed by As You Like it, and Julius Caesar, the first of the maturer tragedies. In the next three years he wrote Troilus and Cressida, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Hamlet, and Twelfth Night.



On March 24, 1603, Queen Elizabeth died. The company had often performed before her, but they found her successor a far more enthusiastic patron. One of the first acts of King James was to take over the company and to promote them to be his own servants, so that henceforward they were known as the King’s Men. They acted now very frequently at Court, and prospered accordingly. In the early years of the reign Shakespeare wrote the more sombre comedies, All’s Well that Ends Well, and Measure for Measure, which were followed by Othello, Macbeth, and King Lear. Then he returned to Roman themes with Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus.



Since 1601 Shakespeare had been writing less, and there were now a number of rival dramatists who were introducing new styles of drama, particularly Ben Jonson (whose first successful comedy, Every Man in his Humour, was acted by Shakespeare’s company in 1598), Chapman, Dekker, Marston, and Beaumont and Fletcher who began to write in 1607. In 1608 the King’s Men acquired a second playhouse, an indoor private theatre in the fashionable quarter of the Blackfriars. At private theatres, plays were performed indoors; the prices charged were higher than in the public playhouses, and the audience consequently was more select. Shakespeare seems to have retired from the stage about this time: his name does not occur in the various lists of players after 1607. Henceforward he lived for the most part at Stratford, where he was regarded as one of the most important citizens. He still wrote a few plays, and he tried his hand at the new form of tragi-comedy – a play with tragic incidents but a happy ending – which Beaumont and Fletcher had popularized. He wrote four of these – Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest, which was acted at Court in 1611. For the last four years of his life he lived in retirement. His son Hamnet had died in 1596: his two daughters were now married. Shakespeare died at Stratford upon Avon on April 23, 1616, and was buried in the chancel of the church, before the high altar. Shortly afterwards a memorial which still exists, with a portrait bust, was set up on the North wall. His wife survived him.



When Shakespeare died fourteen of his plays had been separately published in Quarto booklets. In 1623 his surviving fellow actors, John Heming and Henry Condell, with the co-operation of a number of printers, published a collected edition of thirty-six plays in one Folio volume, with an engraved portrait, memorial verses by Ben Jonson and others, and an Epistle to the Reader in which Heming a

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Chapter 1

list of parts

RICHARD, Duke of Gloucester, later King RICHARD III Duke of CLARENCE, his brother Duke of BUCKINGHAM Lord HASTINGS, the Lord Chamberlain Sir William CATESBY Sir Richard RATCLIFFE Lord LOVELL BRACKENBURY, Lord Lieutenant of the Tower Lord Stanley, Earl of DERBY (sometimes addressed as Derby and sometimes as Stanley, here given speech prefix Derby)
KING EDWARD IV, Gloucester's older brother QUEEN ELIZABETH, his wife PRINCE EDWARD, their older son Duke of YORK, their younger son Lord RIVERS, Elizabeth's brother Lord GREY, Elizabeth's son by her first husband Marquis of DORSET, his brother Sir Thomas VAUGHAN Lady ANNE, Widow of Edward, Prince of Wales, later Duchess of Gloucester QUEEN MARGARET, widow of Henry VI DUCHESS OF YORK, mother to Gloucester, Clarence, Edward IV BOY Clarence's DAUGHTER children Earl of RICHMOND, later King Henry VII Earl of OXFORD Sir JAMES BLUNT Sir WALTER HERBERT Sir WILLIAM BRANDON Duke of NORFOLK Earl of SURREY CARDINAL, Archbishop of Canterbury ARCHBISHOP OF YORK BISHOP OF ELY SIR CHRISTOPHER, a priest Sir John, a PRIEST Lord MAYOR of London Three CITIZENS JAMES TYRRELL Two MURDERERS MESSENGERS KEEPER PURSUIVANT PAGE Ghost of KING HENRY VI Ghost of EDWARD, his son Two Bishops, Soldiers,
Halberdiers, Gentlemen, Lords, Citizens, Attendants


Act 1 Scene 1 running scene 1

Enter Richard, Duke of Gloucester, solus

RICHARD Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this son of York:
And all the clouds that loured upon our house In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,
Our bruisèd arms hung up for monuments,
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front,
And now, instead of mounting barbèd steeds To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass:
I, that am rudely stamped, and want love's majesty To strut before a wanton ambling nymph:
I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable That dogs bark at me as I halt by them -
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to see my shadow in the sun And descant on mine own deformity.
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determinèd to prove a villain And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the king In deadly hate the one against the other.
And if King Edward be as true and just As I am subtle, false and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mewed up About a prophecy, which says that 'G'
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here Clarence comes.-

Enter Clarence, guarded, and Brackenbury

Brother, good day. What means this armèd guard That waits upon your grace?

CLARENCE His majesty,
Tend'ring my person's safety, hath appointed This conduct to convey me to th'Tower.

RICHARD Upon what cause?

CLARENCE Because my name is George.

RICHARD Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours.
He should, for that, commit your godfathers.
O, belike his majesty hath some intent That you should be new-christened in the Tower.
But what's the matter, Clarence, may I know?

CLARENCE Yea, Richard, when I know, but I protest As yet I do not. But, as I can learn,
He hearkens after prophecies and dreams,
And from the cross-row plucks the letter G,
And says a wizard told him that by 'G'
His issue disinherited should be:
And, for my name of George begins with G,
It follows in his thought that I am he.
These, as I learn, and such like toys as these,
Hath moved his highness to commit me now.

RICHARD Why, this it is when men are ruled by women:
'Tis not the king that sends you to the Tower,
My lady Grey his wife, Clarence, 'tis she That tempts him to this harsh extremity.
Was it not she and that good man of worship,
Anthony Woodville, her brother there,
That made him send Lord Hastings to the Tower,
From whence this present day he is delivered?
We are not safe, Clarence, we are not safe.

CLARENCE By heaven, I think there is no man secure But the queen's kindred and night-walking heralds That trudge betwixt the king and Mistress Shore.
Heard you not what an humble suppliant Lord Hastings was to her, for his delivery?

RICHARD Humbly complaining to her deity Got my Lord Chamberlain his liberty.
I'll tell you what: I think it is our way,
If we will keep in favour with the king,
To be her men and wear her livery.
The jealous o'erworn widow and herself,
Since that our brother dubbed them gentlewomen,
Are mighty gossips in our monarchy.

BRACKENBURY I beseech your graces both to pardon me:
His majesty hath straitly given in charge That no man shall have private conference,
Of what degree soever, with your brother.

RICHARD Even so, an please your worship, Brackenbury,
You may partake of anything we say.
We speak no treason, man: we say the king Is wise and virtuous, and his noble queen Well struck in years, fair and not jealous.
We say that Shore's wife hath a pretty foot,
A cherry lip, a bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue,
And that the queen's kindred are made gentlefolks.
How say you sir? Can you deny all this?

BRACKENBURY With this, my lord, myself have nought to do.

RICHARD Naught to do with Mistress Shore? I tell thee,
fellow,
He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
Were best to do it secretly, alone.

BRACKENBURY What one, my lord?

RICHARD Her husband, knave. Wouldst thou betray me?

BRACKENBURY I do beseech your grace to pardon me,
and withal Forbear your conference with the noble duke.

CLARENCE We know thy charge, Brackenbury, and will obey.

RICHARD We are the queen's abjects, and must obey.-
Brother, farewell. I will unto the king,
And whatsoe'er you will employ me in,
Were it to call King Edward's widow sister,
I will perform it to enfranchise you.
Meantime, this deep disgrace in brotherhood Touches me deeper than you can imagine. Embraces him

CLARENCE I know it pleaseth neither of us well.

RICHARD Well, your imprisonment shall not be long.
I will deliver you or else lie for you.
Meantime, have patience.

CLARENCE I must perforce. Farewell.

Exit Clarence [led by Brackenbury and Guards]

RICHARD Go, tread the path that thou shalt ne'er return.
Simple, plain Clarence, I do love thee so That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven,
If heaven will take the present at our hands.
But who comes here? The new-delivered Hastings?

Enter Lord Hastings

HASTINGS Good time of day unto my gracious lord.

RICHARD As much unto my good Lord Chamberlain.
Well are you welcome to this open air.
How hath your lordship brooked imprisonment?

HASTINGS With patience, noble lord, as prisoners must.
But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks That were the cause of my imprisonment.

RICHARD No doubt, no doubt. And so shall Clarence too,
For they that were your enemies are his,
And have prevailed as much on him as you.

HASTINGS More pity that the eagles should be mewed,
Whiles kites and buzzards play at liberty.

RICHARD What news abroad?

HASTINGS No news so bad abroad as this at home:
The king is sickly, weak and melancholy,
And his physicians fear him mightily.

RICHARD Now, by Saint John, that news is bad indeed.
O, he hath kept an evil diet long,
And overmuch consumed his royal person.
'Tis very grievous to be thought upon.
Where is he, in his bed?

HASTINGS He is.

RICHARD Go you before, and I will follow you.

Exit Hastings

He cannot live, I hope, and must not die Till George be packed with post-horse up to heaven.
I'll in to urge his hatred more to Clarence,
With lies well steeled with weighty arguments.
And, if I fail not in my deep intent,
Clarence hath not another day to live:
Which done, God take King Edward to his mercy,
And leave the world for me to bustle in.
For then I'll marry Warwick's youngest daughter.
What though I killed her husband and her father?
The readiest way to make the wench amends Is to become her husband and her father:
The which will I, not all so much for love As for another secret close intent,
By marrying her which I must reach unto.
But yet I run before my horse to market:
Clarence still breathes, Edward still lives and reigns.
When they are gone, then must I count my gains.

Exit

Act 1 Scene 2 running scene 1 continues

Enter the corpse of Henry the Sixth with [Gentlemen bearing] halberds to guard it, Lady Anne being the mourner

ANNE Set down, set down your honourable load -
If honour may be shrouded in a hearse -
Whilst I awhile obsequiously lament Th'untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster. [They set down the coffin]
Poor key-cold figure of a holy king,
Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster,
Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood,
Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost,
To hear the lamentations of poor Anne,
Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughtered son,
Stabbed by the selfsame hand that made these wounds.
Lo, in these windows that let forth thy life,
I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes.
O, cursèd be the hand that made these holes:
Cursed the heart that had the heart to do it:
Cursed the blood that let this blood from hence!
More direful hap betide that hated wretch That makes us wretched by the death of thee Than I can wish to wolves, to spiders, toads,
Or any creeping venomed thing that lives.
If ever he have child, abortive be it,
Prodigious, and untimely brought to light,
Whose ugly and unnatural aspect May fright the hopeful mother at the view,
And that be heir to his unhappiness.
If ever he have wife, let her be made More miserable by the death of him Than I am made by my young lord and thee.-
Come, now towards Chertsey with your holy load,
Taken from Paul's to be interrèd there. [They lift the coffin]
And still as you are weary of this weight,
Rest you, whiles I lament King Henry's corpse.

Enter Richard, Duke of Gloucester

RICHARD Stay, you that bear the corpse, and set it down.

ANNE What black magician conjures up this fiend,
To stop devoted charitable deeds?

RICHARD Villains, set down the corpse, or, by Saint Paul,
I'll make a corpse of him that disobeys.

GENTLEMAN My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass.

RICHARD Unmannered dog, stand'st thou when I command.
Advance thy halberd higher than my breast,
Or, by Saint Paul, I'll strike thee to my foot,
And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness. [They set down the coffin]

ANNE What, do you tremble? Are you all afraid?
Alas, I blame you not, for you are mortal,
And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.-
Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell!
Thou hadst but power over his mortal body,
His soul thou canst not have: therefore be gone.

RICHARD Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.

ANNE Foul devil, for God's sake, hence, and trouble us not,
For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell,
Filled it with cursing cries and deep exclaims.
If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
Behold this pattern of thy butcheries.- ]Uncovers the body]
O, gentlemen, see, see dead Henry's wounds Open their congealed mouths and bleed afresh.-
Blush, blush, thou lump of foul deformity,
For 'tis thy presence that exhales this blood From cold and empty veins, where no blood dwells.
Thy deeds, inhuman and unnatural,
Provokes this deluge most unnatural.-
O God, which this blood mad'st, revenge his death!
O earth, which this blood drink'st, revenge his death!
Either heav'n with lightning strike the murd'rer dead,
Or earth gape open wide and eat him quick,
As thou dost swallow up this good king's blood Which his hell-governed arm hath butcherèd!

RICHARD Lady, you know no rules of charity,
Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.

ANNE Villain, thou know'st nor law of God nor man:
No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.

RICHARD But I know none, and therefore am no beast.

ANNE O, wonderful, when devils tell the truth!

RICHARD More wonderful, when angels are so angry.
Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
Of these supposèd crimes to give me leave,
By circumstance but to acquit myself.

ANNE Vouchsafe, defused infection of man,
Of these known evils, but to give me leave,
By circumstance to curse thy cursèd self.

RICHARD Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have Some patient leisure to excuse myself.

ANNE Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst make No excuse current, but to hang thyself.

RICHARD By such despair, I should accuse myself.

ANNE And by despairing shalt thou stand excused For doing worthy vengeance on thyself,
That didst unworthy slaughter upon others.

RICHARD Say that I slew them not.

ANNE Then say they were not slain.
But dead they are, and devilish slave, by thee.

RICHARD I did not kill your husband.

ANNE Why, then he is alive.

RICHARD Nay, he is dead, and slain by Edward's hands.

ANNE In thy foul throat thou liest: Queen Margaret saw Thy murd'rous falchion smoking in his blood,
The which thou once didst bend against her breast,
But that thy brothers beat aside the point.

RICHARD I was provokèd by her sland'rous tongue,
That laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.

ANNE Thou wast provokèd by thy bloody mind,
That never dream'st on aught but butcheries.
Didst thou not kill this king?

RICHARD I grant ye.

ANNE Dost grant me, hedgehog? Then, God grant me too Thou mayst be damnèd for that wicked deed.
O, he was gentle, mild and virtuous!

RICHARD The better for the king of heaven that hath him.

ANNE He is in heaven, where thou shalt never come.

RICHARD Let him thank me, that holp to send him thither,
For he was fitter for that place than earth.

ANNE And thou unfit for any place but hell.

RICHARD Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.

ANNE Some dungeon.

RICHARD Your bedchamber.

ANNE I'll rest betide the chamber where thou liest.

RICHARD So will it, madam, till I lie with you.

ANNE I hope so.

RICHARD I know so. But, gentle Lady Anne,
To leave this keen encounter of our wits,
And fall something into a slower method:
Is not the causer of the timeless deaths Of these Plantagenets, Henry and Edward,
As blameful as the executioner?

ANNE Thou wast the cause and most accursed effect.

RICHARD Your beauty was the cause of that effect.
Your beauty, that did haunt me in my sleep To undertake the death of all the world,
So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom.

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Table of Contents

Charles Lamb: Letter to Robert Lloyd, from Cooke's 'Richard the Third', and from On the Tragedies of Shakespeare, Considered with Reference to Their Fitness for Stage Representation
A. P. Rossiter: Angel with Horns: The Unity of 'Richard III'
Robert Ornstein: 'Richard III'
Mark Eccles: 'Richard III' on Stage and Screen

NEWLY ADDED ESSAYS: Coppelia Kahn: 'Myself Alone': Richard III and the Dissolution of Masculine Identity

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Sky to Richard

    I want s3x :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2013

    Firesteel

    Iceshard was here... there are some clues after all.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2013

    Shadowolf

    Lets go

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2003

    Absolutely Beautiful !!!

    Shakespeare showcases his mastery of the English language in Richard III. The dialogue is typical of Shakespearean dilogue: it is filled with puns and similes, metaphors and imagery. One cannot go wrong with Shakespeare's Richard III; I have just finished reading it, and I will re-read it today! It is a masterpiece!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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