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Richard III (play)

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Poster, 1884

Richard III is a history play by William Shakespeare. It was probably written about 1592 and first performed shortly after its completion. The play tells of Richard III's sudden rise to the throne and his equally sudden downfall in battle on Bosworth Field. The play follows the three parts of Henry VI.

Next to Hamlet, it is the longest of Shakespeare's plays. It is always shortened for performance. It was printed about the time of its first performance, and again in the First Folio of 1623.

The play is loved for its black humor. Famous lines include "Now is the winter of our discontent", "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!", and "Off with his head; so much for Buckingham" – possibly the most famous Shakespearean line that Shakespeare did not write.


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