Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Richard III

Richard III

William Shakespeare
Edited, fully annotated, and introduced by Burton Raffel
With an essay by Harold Bloom
Copyright Date: 2008
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 256
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Richard III
    Book Description:

    Treacherous, power-hungry, untempered by moral restraint, and embittered by physical deformity, Richard, the younger brother of King Edward IV, is ablaze with ambition to take England's throne.Richard III, Shakespeare's long chronicle of Richard's machinations to be king, is a tale of murder upon murder. He gains the throne, but only briefly. In a terrible dream, the ghosts of his victims visit the now-despised monarch to foretell his demise. Richard's death in battle the next day concludes his reign of evil, ushering in at last a new and hopeful era of peace for England.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-14529-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xviii)
    (pp. xix-xxxviii)

    Richard IIIwas probably written in 1591–1592; the exact date is uncertain. Francis Meres listed it, in 1592, as one of the up-and-coming young playwright’s works. Nor do we have a certain date for the play’s first performance or even for just which acting company it had been composed. The first of a string of Quarto publications (eight in all) appeared in 1597, making it a reasonable assumption that the play was very well received. But the first more than merely bibliographical reference toRichard III, in surviving documents, does not come until 1602.

    There is a strong undercurrent...

    (pp. xxxix-xlii)
  6. Richard III
    (pp. 1-192)

    GloucesterNow is the winter of our² discontent

    Made glorious³ summer by this son⁴ of York,⁵

    And all the clouds that loured⁶ upon our house⁷

    In⁸ the deep bosom of the ocean buried.⁹

    Now are our brows bound¹⁰ with victorious wreaths,

    Our bruisèd arms¹¹ hung up for monuments,¹²

    Our stern alarums¹³ changed to merry meetings,¹⁴

    Our dreadful marches¹⁵ to delightful measures.¹⁶

    Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front,¹⁷

    And now, instead of mounting barbèd¹⁸ steeds

    To fright the souls of fearful¹⁹ adversaries,

    He capers²⁰ nimbly in a lady’s chamber²¹

    To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.

    But I, that am...

    (pp. 193-200)

    The opening ferocity of Richard, still duke of Gloucester, inThe Tragedy of Richard the Thirdis hardly more than a fresh starting point for the development of the Elizabethan and Jacobean hero-villain after Marlowe, and yet it seems to transform Tamburlaine and Barabbas utterly. Richard’s peculiarly self-conscious pleasure in his own audacity is crossed by the sense of what it means to see one’s own deformed shadow in the sun. We are closer already not only to Edmund and Iago than to Barabbas, but especially closer to Webster’s Lodovico who so sublimely says: “I limn’d this nightpiece and it...

    (pp. 201-206)
    (pp. 207-211)