Shakespeare’s Richard III is one of the most infamous villains of all time — and one of the most relished. Sher explains how Shakespeare created both a loathsome and brilliant manipulator, as well as a real man. Shakespeare’s history play is at least as much play as history. They hinge on character, on strength and on frailty, and explore what humans will resort to in order to achieve power. While historians still debate the merits and vices of the real King Richard, there is no truly reliable evidence that he was the villain Tudor historians described; but Shakespeare’s character is larger than life and for this reason stands for all times.
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