Best of the Web
Movie or TV Productions
Starring Laurence Olivier in a defining role for the actor.
A TV production from the BBC.
Starring Sir Ian McKellen, set in England during a fictionalized fascist version of the 1930s.
A documentary in which Al Pacino hangs out with us and discusses directing and staging Richard as a film.
Richard III retold as a story of modern gang culture.
Everything you ever wanted to know about Richard's opening speech, compliments of the great actor Ian McKellen.
Seriously? Seriously hilarious!
Ian McKellen plays Richard in this 1995 film that sets Richard III during the fascist 1930s.
A historical spoof from the BBC of an attempt to clear the real Richard III's name.
Check out this animated version of Richard III.
Listen to the Richard's famous opening speech.
An NPR Talk of the Nation recording about the graphic novel Kill Shakespeare: "Here's a novel concept: take Hamlet, Richard III, Falstaff and Iago, all of Shakespeare's conflicted heroes and anguished villains, mash them up into a comic book that's part Tom Stoppard and, yes, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern do show up, and part "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen." Without giving too much away, Richard III dupes the exiled Hamlet into a mission to hunt down an evil wizard and then kill Shakespeare. The authors join us in just a moment." Listen to the broadcast and check out an excerpt from the book.
An NPR All Things Considered recording about a modernized take on Richard III.
A cartoon of Richard caught in negotiations with his horse.
Note the boar.
The Criterion Collection cover for Laurence Olivier's 1955 film version of Richard III.
William Hogarth's 1741 depiction of actor David Garrick as Richard III. The scene shows Richard awakening from his frightening dream before the Battle at Bosworth Field.
A depiction of Richard's motto, "Loyalty binds me" under his symbol, the boar.
Shakespeare based his character of Richard III on historical accounts, including Thomas More's The History of King Richard the Third. Not long after Richard III was taken down, the Tudors and their supporters (like the historian Sir Thomas More) began a smear campaign against Richard III in order to make the Tudor dynasty seem more legitimate. Historians and literary scholars call this the "Tudor myth." It basically says that the Wars of the Roses and King Richard III's so-called wicked reign were one of the darkest periods in English history. That is, until King Henry VII's divinely sanctioned reign brought about a time of peace and prosperity in England. You can read More's full history of Richard III here.
A clean copy of Richard III from MIT Shakespeare.
Flip through the pages of the First Quarto print of Richard III. Definitely check out their neat feature that lets you compare different printings of Shakespeare's texts.
A fully searchable facsimile of the 1623 First Folio. Note Richard's title in the catalogue as "The Life and Death of Richard the Third."
The History Behind Richard III
Check out this family tree. It helps you see how the players in Richard III are related. (The Yorks are in yellow and the Lancasters are in pink, but they're all Plantagenets.)
A society dedicated to educating the world about the real Richard III, disproving the negative myths about him, and reestablishing his reputation.
A book review that explores how and why Richard was vilified, as well as some of the attempts to rescue his reputation.
Michael D. Miller's detailed book, chapter by chapter, on the causes and events in the Wars of the Roses. An in-depth look at the historical background of Richard III.
Well, you might find him in the bargain aisle.
An academic paper that explores Shakespeare's poetics by comparing Richard III with Macbeth. Ian Johnston gives an overview of theatrical poetics, as well as some incisive explanation and analysis of different kinds of verse and their potential effects.
A New York Times theater review of a 2007 production of Richard III, with some thoughtful directorial notes – especially on how Richard's theatricality overshadows the audience's ability to sympathize with other characters. Most interesting is the analysis that Richard is something of a dark comedy, rather than a history or tragedy.
A New York Times theater review of a 2007 production of Richard III, with some thoughtful directorial notes on Richard being literally split in two, and on representing disabled people.
This hilarious parody of Richard III started out as a high school project and turned into a website for a college freshmen at USC.
A collection of links on Richard in reality and in performance, with lots of charming and funny anecdotes. Compiled by the American Branch of the Richard III Society.