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Shakespeare’s Richard III Made Easy

This website has been designed to help students develop an understanding of some of the complexities of Shakespeare’s Richard III. Students will find the information, guidelines and questions useful for reviewing their reading of the play as well as revising their study of the play from what has been covered in class.

The website provides a detailed commentary covering all the key areas students need to know about plot, characters, themes and language.  These commentaries could also serve as a springboard for further class discussion or consolidation of ideas covered in class. In addition, these commentaries provide ample scope for independent research by extending ideas through wider reading on critical commentaries on Richard III. For convenience, the term “test” has been used to cover course-related tasks, school-based assessment tasks, and exams.

Background
This section looks at some of the key background and historical contexts of the play.

Plot
The scene-by-scene commentary provides a plot analysis explaining clearly what happens, when it happens – and why. Analysis is deepened with colour-coded references to themes which are examined in greater detail in Themes.

Characters
This section looks at analysing the behaviour and motives of each of the main characters. There are quotations and evidence to back up the ideas.

Themes
This section looks at some of the key themes expanding upon the colour-coded analysis in Plot.

Language
This section examines key aspects of Shakespeare’s use of language in Richard III, looking at what is said, how it is said and the effect this has on the audience.

Essay Topics
Here students will find the kind of essay questions they can expect for school-based assessment tasks and on the examination paper.

Links
The links page offers useful on-line resources that range from historical background material on Richard III to study guides.


As some applications on the website are not compatible with mobile devices (e.g. iPhone or iPad), this website is best viewed using a PC or MAC. If your mobile device does not enable you to access the drop down menus, it is recommended you navigate this website from the Index (below).

INDEX

Background
• The War of the Roses
The Princes in the Tower
Superstition
Rewriting History
Shakespeare's Villains
Genre

Plot
• Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V

Characters
Richard
Buckingham
Queen Elizabeth
Queen Margaret
Duchess of York
Lady Anne
Richmond

Themes
Appearance and Reality
The Role of Women
Conscience, Guilt and Blame
Hatred and Evil
The Supernatural

Language
Reasons Language is Used
Patterns & Structures
Imagery

Essay Topics

Links

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Richard III: © An English Website unit developed and designed by George Marotous. 19 July 2010. Updated 8 August 2011.
Source material: Collins KS3: Shakespeare Richard 111. HarperColins, 2006.
English Faculty, Melbourne High School.