King Richard III, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Richard III is one of the great Shakespearean characters and roles. James R Siemon examines the attraction of this villain to audiences and focuses on how beguiling, even funny, he can be, especially in the earlier parts of the play.

Siemon also places King Richard III in its historical context; as Elizabeth I had no heirs the issue of succession was a very real one for Shakespeare's audience.

The introduction is well-illustrated and provides a comprehensive account of the play and of critical approaches to it. The edition also provides a clear and authoritative playtext, edited to the most rigorous standards of scholarship, with detailed notes and commentary on the same page. With a wealth of helpful and incisive commentary the Arden Shakespeare is the finest edition of Shakespeare you can find, giving a deeper understanding and appreciation of his work.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 524 pages, 20 in the Introduction
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Shakespeare studies & criticism
  • ISBN: 9781903436899


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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

So how geeky is it to have his'n'hers copies of <i>Richard III</i>? Don't answer that. We saw the Brooklyn Academy of Music production with Kevin Spacey last year and both wanted to read it through again first. The play, by the way, was fun -- a big spectacle, kind of like the circus for grownups without the animal cruelty. But with plenty of scenery chewing. Anyway, the play is bad ass. But you all knew that.

Review by

Am I the only person who thinks Richard is kind of sympathetic? Seriously, *every* other person in the play is a moron. I've never been comfortable with Nietzsche's whole 'the weak gang up to ruin the world by undermining the strong' nonsense, but as an analysis of this book? Pretty good. Look, everyone in this play is morally repulsive. The difference between them and RIII is that the king's much smarter. He moves the pieces around the board pretty well. And for that he's the greatest villain the world has ever seen? I don't get it. <br/><br/>As for this edition (most recent Arden), it's got a very well-written introduction that provides a lot of background information; maybe too much background information. I would have liked a bit more interpretation. Same thing with the annotation, which was very heavy on the manuscript-variations but a bit light on historical information. But thankfully no fatuous 'thematic' interpretation stuff at all.

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