Shakespeare’s Richard III play is set in England in the period leading up to and during during the reign of Richard III, 1483 – 1485, in London, in Salisbury, in a camp near Tamworth, and at Bosworth Field near Leiscester.
Date written: 1591
Genre classification: Richard III is a History Play.
Main characters in Richard III: King Edward IV
Elizabeth, Queen of King Edward the Fourth
Edward, Prince of Wales; afterwards King Edward the Fifth, & Richard, Duke of York, Sons to the King
George, Duke of Clarence, & Richard, Duke of Gloucester, afterwards King Richard III, Brothers to the King
Duchess of york, Mother to King Edward the Fourth, Clarence, and Gloucester
Margaret, Widow of King Henry the Sixth
A young Son of Clarence
Henry, Earl of Richmond; afterwards King Henry the Seventh
Cardinal bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury
Thomas Rotherham, Archbishop of York
John Morton, Bishop of Ely
Duke of Buckingham
Duke of Norfolk
Lady Anne, Widow of Edward, Prince of Wales, Son to King Henry the Sixth; afterwards married to the Duke of Gloucester. See a full list of characters in Richard III.
Richard III themes: Ambition has horrific consequences. Richard is even more ambitious than Macbeth and commits even more horrific crimes but suffers no remorse.
Another theme is deception and what it can achieve, in this case the desired outcome for its perpetrator. Once again, we see in Shakespeare that ubiquitous theme of appearance and reality. Pure evil has no conscience – it’s entirely practical.