'Richard III' - Study Guide

The Ultimate Student Study Guide to 'Richard III'

Richard III was written in around 1592 by William Shakespeare, and charts the rise and fall of England's tyrant King, Richard III.

This study guide is designed to guide you through this long and complex play - only Hamlet is longer - with plot overviews, theme analysis and character profiles. At the end there is also a scene-by-scene analysis which translates the original text into modern English.

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Who is Richard III? (In the Play)

Core to this play is Shakespeare’s characterization of Richard III as unrelentingly malevolent, manipulative and power hungry. The only justification he gives to his evil acts is his deformity - as he is unable to to woo women, he resolves to being an outright villain.

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Theme One: Power

The key theme is power - how Richard aspires to it, abuses it and is ultimately destroyed by it. Explore this theme to further your study and understanding.

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Theme Two: God's Judgement

How does the judgement of God impact on Richard III. Find out in this article.

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Richard III and Lady Anne: Why Do They Marry?

In the first act of this play, Richard marries Lady Anne. But why? Lady Anne knows that Richard killed close members of her family. Learn more in this fascinating resource.