"Now is the winter of our discontent..."

--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, Mar. 1. 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, Mar. 4. 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. In your opinion, is Richard III a tragedy?

2. In Richard III, Richard is clearly the "bad guy" and Richmond is clearly the "good guy." Yet, it is Richard that audiences find fascinating, not Richmond. Why?

1. In III.i, Richard tells Edward his uncles couldn't be trusted. What is ironic about his speech? Is Edward fooled?
2. In III.i, Buckingham orders the Cardinal to convince Elizabeth to release her son (the 10-year-old Duke of York) from sanctuary so he can be brought to his brother, Edward. He also orders that, if she refuses, he should be removed from sanctuary by force. What is his reason for arguing that this is justified?
3. Is Buckingham sincere, or is he part of Richard's plot?
4. What does Prince Edward say about truth in this scene? (III.i.76-79) What is Richard's reaction?
5. How does York taunt Richard?
6. What plan does Buckingham reveal in this scene?
7. What are Buckingham and Richard's plans for Rivers, Grey, and Vaughan? What do they plan to do if Hastings won't cooperate with them?
8. What does Richard promise Buckingham for his help?
9. In III.ii, Stanley is afraid; what is Hastings's response?
10. Is Hastings right to trust Catesby?
11. In III,iii, we see Rivers, Grey, and Vaughan as they go to their deaths. What purpose does this scene serve?
12. In III.iv, there is a lot of talk about how one's face does or does not reflect one's heart. What does this passage contribute to the play?
13. What excuse does Richard give to kill Hastings?
14. In III.v, is the Mayor taken in by Richard and Buckingham's accusations against Hastings? What message are Richard and Buckingham giving the Lord Mayor, and others? Does the Mayor understand it?
15. In III.v.75ff., what story does Richard give to justify excluding Edward's sons from succeeding to the throne? How does this insult his mother?
16. What does scene 6 of Act III contribute to the play?
17. In III.vii, Buckingham describes the reaction of the people to Richard's announcement that he will take the crown. What is their reaction? What does it reveal?
18. In III.vii, what sort of act does Richard put on for the Lord Mayor? Does the Lord Mayor believe it?
19. In IV.i, what happens when Queen Elizabeth tries to visit her sons in the Tower?
20. How does Anne take the news that she is to be crowned Queen?
21. How does the Duchess of York react to the news that her son Richard is to be crowned King?
22. In IV.ii, how does Buckingham react when Richard says the princes must be killed?
23. What are Richard's plans for his wife, now that he is King?
24. What are Richard's plans for Edward's daughter, Elizabeth?
25. What happens to cause a falling-out between Richard and Buckingham?
26. Why is Richard's attention wandering when Buckingham is trying to talk to him, in IV.ii? Is he really distracted? Or is he just trying to put Buckingham off?
27. How did the princes die? Who actually killed them?
28. What news does Ratcliffe bring at the end of IV.iii?
29. Why does Queen Margaret reappear at the beginning of IV.iv? How does she react to the grief of Elizabeth and the Duchess?
30. What is the point of having the three women recount all their grief and losses?
31. What does the Duchess say to Richard when she sees him?
32. What does Richard propose to Queen Elizabeth? What is her reaction?
33. How does Richard propose to make up to Queen Elizabeth for all he has taken from her? (IV.iv) How does she answer him?
34. What forces are massing against Richard?
35. What does Richard require to assure Stanley's loyalty?
36. Queen Elizabeth has agreed to marry her daughter, Elizabeth, to Richard. To whom else does she promise her daughter in marriage?
37. In V.ii, we see Richmond (the future King Henry VII) for the first time. What is the purpose of this scene?
38. How is Stanley playing both Richard and Richmond? To whom is he loyal?
39. In V.iii, we see, alternately, Richmond and Richard. Both are preparing for the battle. How does Shakespeare make the differences between them clear?
40. In V.iii.190ff., does Richard repent?
41. When Richard leaves his tent on the morning of the battle, what does he do? What does Richmond do when he leaves his tent?
42. What are the differences between the two orations to the soldiers?
43. What is accomplished, dramatically speaking, by Richmond's closing speech?


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