In Shakespeare's most contested play a scheming despot usurps his brother's throne, murders his nephews and tyrannises England.
In contrast to the Henry plays, Richard III is a compelling drama of a king obsessed with power. In his portrait of the scheming despot who usurps his brother’s throne, Shakespeare created one of his most memorable villains and exerted a long-lasting influence on popular perceptions of the king. Richard III’s opening speech on ‘the winter of our discontent’ is among Shakespeare’s best known – small wonder, then, that fine actors like Laurence Olivier, Ian McKellen and Al Pacino have been drawn to this play.
Published by Oxford University Press and bound in hardback buckram by The Folio Society, The Oxford Shakespeare series offers authoritative editions of Shakespeare’s plays. The early printings have been scrupulously re-examined and interpreted by eminent scholars, who also provide introductory essays covering all relevant background information, together with an appraisal of critical views and of the plays in performance. The exhaustive commentaries pay particular attention to language and staging. Reprints of sources, music for songs, genealogical tables and maps are included where necessary; many of the volumes are illustrated, and all contain an index.
John Jowett is a Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Birmingham, and Deputy Director of The Shakespeare Institute.
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