King Richard III Conclusion

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In Richard III, the role of Richard is the central focus: critics debate whether this ruthless, compellingly witty character has control of the people and events around him or whether he functions instead as an instrument of divine retribution. But there are other issues that scholars examine with equal care in this rich, early play of Shakespeare's. Of interest, for example, is the play's imagery (in particular the vivid pictures presented in Clarence's undersea dream the night before his murder), as well as the playwright's inclusion of Margaret as an agent of prophecy and the general attitude toward women expressed in the play. All in all, Richard III continues to be one of Shakespeare's most popular plays, in large measure thanks to Richard's dazzling wickedness.

(See also Shakespearean Criticism, Vols. 8 and 14)

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King Richard III from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.