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Best of the Web

Best of the Web

Movie or TV Productions

Richard III (1955)

Starring Laurence Olivier in a defining role for the actor.

The Tragedy of Richard the Third (1983)

A TV production from the BBC.

Richard III (1995)

Starring Sir Ian McKellen, set in England during a fictionalized fascist version of the 1930s.

Looking for Richard (1996)

A documentary in which Al Pacino hangs out with us and discusses directing and staging Richard as a film.

The Street King or King Rikki (2002)

Richard III retold as a story of modern gang culture.

Videos

"Now is the Winter of our Discontent"

Everything you ever wanted to know about Richard's opening speech, compliments of the great actor Ian McKellen.

Peter Sellers and The Beatles do Richard III

Seriously? Seriously hilarious!

Ian McKellen as Richard

Ian McKellen plays Richard in this 1995 film that sets Richard III during the fascist 1930s.

We Are History: Richard III

A historical spoof from the BBC of an attempt to clear the real Richard III's name.

BBC Shakespeare Animated Tales

Check out this animated version of Richard III.

Audios

"Now is the Winter of our Discontent"

Listen to the Richard's famous opening speech.

"Hamlet, Richard III Plot to 'Kill Shakespeare'"

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.

Richard III: An Arab Tragedy

An  NPR All Things Considered recording about a modernized take on Richard III.

Images

Richard Cartoon

A cartoon of Richard caught in negotiations with his horse.

1955 Movie Cover

The Criterion Collection cover for Laurence Olivier's 1955 film version of Richard III.

David Garrick as 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.

"Loyalty binds me"

A depiction of Richard's motto, "Loyalty binds me" under his symbol, the boar.

Historical Documents

The History of King Richard the Third (c. 1513-1518)

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.

Online Text of Richard III

A clean copy of Richard III from MIT Shakespeare.

Richard III Printed in 1597

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.

Richard III Printed in 1623

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

Confused about the Plantagenets, Yorks, Lancasters, and Tudors?

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.)

The Richard III Society

A society dedicated to educating the world about the real Richard III, disproving the negative myths about him, and reestablishing his reputation.

Good King Richard?: An Account of Richard III and His Reputation

A book review that explores how and why Richard was vilified, as well as some of the attempts to rescue his reputation.

Wars of the Roses

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.

So whatever happened to Buckingham?

Well, you might find him in the bargain aisle.

Articles

"Some Observations on Shakespeare's Dramatic Verse in Richard III and Macbeth"

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.

"The Villain Everyone Loves to Hate"

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.

"This Lame King Has Another Self to Lean On"

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.

Websites

Richard III Done Funny

This hilarious parody of Richard III started out as a high school project and turned into a website for a college freshmen at USC. 

"Richard III: On Stage and Off"

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.

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