Today's the day!
Yes, today's the day that the poor, mangled skeleton formerly known as King Richard III completes its journey from car park exhumation to cathedral re-interment. To commemorate the event, I thought it might be helpful to take a look at Shakespeare's version of this much-maligned English monarch.
Shakespeare's Richard III is the villain you love to hate. He's charismatic and seductive, ruthless and manipulative, and a lot of fun to watch in action. He is, in short, a fantastic dramatic creation.
The real Richard III, of course, was a rather more nuanced character whose finer points - such as his strong leadership and introduction of political and judicial reforms - were all but obliterated by the pro-Tudor propaganda that proliferated after his demise. Whether or not he had a direct hand in the mysterious disappearance of his nephews, the Princes in the Tower, cannot be proved one way or another. Please don't send me angry messages, Ricardians. I'm a little bit scared of you.
Anyways... rest in peace, Richard. If it's any consolation, you've had a much more exciting afterlife than most other English monarchs.
Check out my other Shakespearean Character Spotlights!