Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

English (M.A.)



First Advisor

Dr. Benjamin Lockerd


There are many striking similarities between Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of King Richard III and several types of medieval works. The morality play genre is most distinctly represented by Richard’s representation as the Vice, a popular figure first characterized as the devil’s helper who eventually eclipsed the devil and became the sole figure of evil. Riehard also shares characteristics with the miracle or mystery play figures of Cain and Herod, figures who commit evil deeds and are rightly punished by God. Shakespeare was also strongly influenced by the chronicle accounts of Raphael Holinshed and Edward Hall, who base their accounts of Richard’s fight for the erown and subsequent reign on Sir Thomas More’s The Historv of King Richard the Third. It is from More’s work that Shakespeare heavily borrows for the events and oecurrences in his Richard III.


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