Shakespeare: Richard 3rd?

Help please, I can't find the answers to these anywhere!

How old is Richard when the play opens

What is his title: is he a prince, duke, whatever (when the play opens).

Thank you so much!

1 Answer

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    This may answer your question.

    The whole of Richard’s childhood was filled with civil wars over the crown of England, particularly by two families, the Lanchester dynasty and the York dynasty in a time of conflict known as the Wars of the

    Roses. Both families had “royal blood” - that is some of their relatives were Kings or Queens of England,

    making them eligible for the throne.

    At the age of 8, Richard’s father and older brother Edmund died while fighting at the Battle of Wakefeld.

    Because of fear for Richard’s and his older brother George’s lives, he spent the majority of his youth being

    brought up in the country side by the Warwick family (cousins through marriage). In June of 1461, King Henry VI (of the Lanchester dynasty) was overthrown and Edward became King of


    Although young, Richard proved himself a loyal and successful military commander and administrator to

    his brother King Edward IV. By the age of thirty, he was given the titles of Duke of Gloucester (1461), a

    Knight of the Garter (1461), Knight of the Bath (1461), sole Commissioner of Array for the West Counties

    (1464), Governor of the North, Constable of England (1469), and Lord High Admiral of England (1471).

    During Edward IV’s rule, Richard rarely was seen at the court of England. He spent much of his time in

    the North of England governing and protecting it from invasion and financial downfalls. In the North,

    Richard, although a very socially private person, was well liked by the people in how he governed them.

    Richard’s brother George, now Duke of Clarence, on the other hand was not contented with being the

    brother of a king. Throughout Edward’s reign, George committed treason by plotting with Warwick and

    France against King Edward in order to usurp this throne. These treasons would bring about Clarence’s

    death and 1478 he was executed by his brother’s Edward’s command (and also it is thought that

    Edward’s wife, Queen Elizabeth supported Clarence’s execution because of familial ill feelings). It is

    reported that Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was very upset by his brother’s death.

    During the second half of Edward IV’s rule, civil wars broke out again supported by strong allies in France.

    Edward died in April of 483 due to illness and thus begins the circumstances of Shakespeare’s play.

    Richard’s accent to the throne happened extremely quickly - in a matter of six months. Before his quest

    for the throne, Richard was overall liked by the people he governed in the North and was know as a pious

    and loyal man. With Edward’s death, the throne needed to be filled very quickly. Prince Edward (Edward

    IV’s oldest son) was to be brought to London immediately for his coronation. In learning that Prince

    Edward was to be king, and backed by supporters of the Lanchester dynasty, Richard had to make a

    choice – to keep the royal throne in his House of York, he needed to take the throne

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