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Analysis

Literary Devices in Richard III

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Like we've said, Shakespeare wrote Richard III when Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne. As we know, Elizabeth I's grandfather was none other than Henry, Earl of Richmond – a.k.a. Richmond, a.k....

Setting

TimeRichard III is set at the tail end of the English Wars of the Roses, which concluded with Richard's defeat and the establishment of the first Tudor monarch, Henry VII. From Richard's opening sp...

Genre

Most literary critics refer to Richard III as a "history play." In fact, it's the final sequel to a series of Shakespearean history plays known as the "first tetralogy," which also includes Henry...

Tone

The play's tone (its attitude toward its subject matter and audience) can be hard to pin down and largely depends on a couple of things: 1) how we interpret Richard's character, and 2) whether or n...

Writing Style

You probably noticed that the language in Richard III is pretty formal. This has a lot to do with the fact that much of the play is written in verse (mostly iambic pentameter), and characters' spe...

What’s Up With the Title?

Today we know this work as simply Richard III, which makes a lot of sense given the fact that it's all about the rise and fall of King Richard III. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Not so fa...

What's Up With the Ending?

Richard III ends like every other Shakespearean tragedy – there's some major bloodshed and our hero/protagonist goes down pretty hard during the Battle of Bosworth Field.But even though the final...

Plot Analysis

The Yorks have just regained the throne with Edward IV's coronation. Richard announces his plan to set his brothers against each other.Richard informs us in the first scene that things have swung r...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Richard wants the crown and is beginning to plot to get it.From the moment we meet Richard, we learn that he's dissatisfied. He announces that he's "determined to prove a villain." We then get th...

Trivia

As it turns out, the actual Richard III probably wasn't such a bad guy.  What's more, he probably didn't have any physical deformities.  You can learn a lot more about the differences bet...

Steaminess Rating

Richard III makes a pretty big deal out of sex. In his opening speech he complains to the audience that since war has given way to peace, everyone in England has been busy hooking up. Everyone ex...

Allusions

Thomas More, The History of King Richard the Third (c. 1513)Edward Hall, The Union of the Two Noble and Illustrious Families of Lancaster and York (1548)Raphael Holinshed, Chronicles of England (se...
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