Book Review: Richard III

Richard III
Richard III by William Shakespeare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this last play in the War of the Roses series. There’s tons of action and plotting and intrigue. It certainly does not get boring! It’s not my favorite, since I was unable to really connect with any of the characters, but the plot moves along very quickly.

Most of this play is just people getting murdered. Wow. So many murders! So many.
Richard has to destroy a lot of lives before he can claim the throne. He is so black-hearted and creepy and horrible! His monologues where he unfolds his dastardly plans, and the way he shows no remorse whatsoever for all his evil deeds made me cringe.

The absolute best part of this play was all the women railing and cursing against Richard/Gloucester. You do not want to get on these ladies’ bad side! There are several wonderful scenes when Anne, then Margaret, and Elizabeth are all cursing against Richard for murdering their husbands and sons. And Richard is sweet-talking them, and insisting that he’s innocent.

The banter between them is perfection, with lots of those famous Shakespearean puns. Richard is like this fascinating snake who is mesmerizing his next victim, cajoling and deceiving them to get what he wants. And the ladies are like furies, casting him down and renouncing all his evil, until he worms his way into their thoughts and they capitulate like fools under a spell. That Richard must have really been a charmer, despite his deformed looks.

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