In Richard III family is not the lovey-dovey stuff of The Simpsons' Flanders family. After all, we're talking about a family that was at each others' throats for a good 30 years. The play takes domestic backstabbing, treachery, and murder to a whole new level. The worst offender, of course, is Richard, who has his brother murdered, hires a hit man to snuff out his nephews, and manages to turn his own mother against him. (And these are just warm-up exercises.) Although Richard embodies the horrors of family violence, very few characters in this play are innocent.
Questions About Family
- Explain how politics and domestic matters intersect in this play. Can family ever be separated from politics and matters of state?
- Pointing to specific examples in the play, discuss how acts of familial violence come back to haunt the characters.
- When and why does Richard's own mother turn against him?
- Mothers are ever-present in the play, advocating for their sons, but also judging them. Discuss the role mothers play in <em>Richard III</em>. What role, if any, do <em>fathers</em> play?
Chew on This
Richard is the embodiment of familial violence.
Family matters are inextricable from political affairs in <em>Richard III</em>.