"And thus I clothe my naked villainy With old odd ends stolen out of holy writ, And seem a saint when most I play the devil."

--Richard III

Princes in the Tower

Richard III

Directions: After reading the lecture, answer one of the main questions, which will appear in bold. This question is due no later than Thursday, Feb. 22. Following that will be other questions, in black, which you should read and think about--they may help you answer the main question. However, you are not required to answer these questions in writing.

Your responses to other students' answers are due by midnight on Sunday, Feb. 25. In order to get the full 20 points, you MUST respond thoughtfully to at least 2 other people's postings.

This set of discussion questions is worth a possible 20 points. Remember: late answers receive 0 points, so post early :)

We will be using the Canvas Discussion Board for this class. Click on the link below to get to the Canvas portal, sign in, and then click on the box for this class. You will find the "Discussions" link on the left side of the screen:

Discussion Board


Richard III Link

Remember: You are required to answer only one of the "red" questions, although you are, of course, welcome to answer more than one if you wish.

1. Many critics have said that Shakespeare creates sympathy for Richard in the first two acts. Do you agree? If so, how does he do it? And if you don't agree, explain why you think he does not create sympathy for him.

2. Harold Bloom argues that Richard III would be a better play if Shakespeare had left Margaret out: "Another blemish ofRichard III is the ghastly Margaret...Shakespeare would have been much better without the long-winded Margaret, who curses in triplicate and beyond." Do you agree? Explain.

3. Do you find Anne's change of heart about Richard in Act I, Scene 2 convincing? Explain.

1. What does Richard tell the audience in his opening soliloquy?
2. Why has King Edward imprisoned Clarence?
3. Richard says only two groups of people are safe from the Tower. Who are they? What is his attitude toward the King?
4. Despite what he tells him, what is Richard planning for Clarence?
5. What news does Hastings bring Richard about the King?
6. Who does Richard plan to marry, once Clarence and Edward are dead?
7. How does Anne feel about Richard, in Act I, Scene 2?
8. Richard confesses to Anne that he killed Henry and Edward. What reason does he give?
9. What does Richard really think of Anne?
10. Why is Queen Elizabeth afraid of Richard?
11. In her asides to the audience in I.iii, what does Queen Margaret reveal to the audience about Richard?
12. Why does Queen Margaret curse them all? 13. In I.iii, what evils does Queen Margaret wish on those she curses?
14. What is her curse on Richard? Is he afraid of her?
15. What warning does Margaret give Buckingham?
16. How does Richard hide the fact that he's behind Clarence's murder?
17. In I.iv, what dream does Clarence tell his jailer about?
18. Who does Clarence believe is responsible for his imprisonment?
19. The Second Murderer's conscience begins to bother him as he prepares to kill Clarence. What changes his mind?
20. In II.i.33-41, what does Buckingham promise? How is this ironic?
21. What is Richard's reaction to Edward's attempts to make peace between the different factions in his court, in II.i.54ff.?
22. What news does Richard bring Edward in this scene? What is Edward's reaction? How does this scene make us feel about Edward?
23. At the end of II.i., how does Richard split the group Edward was trying to join together?
24. In II.ii, what does the Duchess tell Clarence's children?
25. How is Queen Elizabeth's grief for Edward received in this scene? How does this scene make us feel about these characters?
26. In II.ii, what advice do Dorset and Rivers give to the Queen? What does Buckingham advise? What secret plan of Buckingham and Richard is revealed in this scene?
27. What is the point of II.iii?
28. What is the Queen's reaction upon hearing of the arrests of Rivers, Grey, and Vaughan? Why, in this scene, do we meet her son? Why have the Duchess (Richard's mother) in this scene?


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