I read Richard III as part of my Shakespeare class.
Richard III is my favorite British king, therefore my opinion of this Shakespeare play is slightly influenced by the fact that a lot of people take this piece of historical, biased fiction written solely based on Tudor accounts of events (when Richard was a Yorkist and therefore an enemy) as the gospel truth. It’s not. (For more information check out the Richard III Society, of which I plan to become a member as soon as I can afford it. Also read The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. It’s a brilliant book that’ll make you think. ) So I’m going to try my hardest to keep my historical opinion out of it (Henry VII killed the Princes in the Tower, with help from Margaret Beaufort in my humble opinion.)
Other than the exaggeration of historical rumors Richard III is a fantastic play. Some of Shakespeare’s finest speeches come from this play and it’s full of really well developed characters. Richard III, while the villain of the play, is written in a wonderfully complex manner. Not to mention the female characters, especially Elizabeth Woodville are remarkably strong and smart. Reading this play makes me yearn to see it in person, preferably at the Globe. Or with David Tennant. Either way I wouldn’t complain.
But yeah, a really great play, probably in my Top 5 Shakespeare plays. But if you haven’t read it yet and plan to, please educate yourself on the events that went on during the time period and don’t take Shakespeare’s Tudor propaganda as the truth. Form your own opinion!