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Now Is the Winter of Our Discontent: Shakespeare's Richard III

In this 12-week class, we will do a full reading and discussion of one of Shakespeare's greatest dark histories, Richard III.
Maureen Tobin
178 total reviews for this teacher
2 reviews for this class
Completed by 10 learners
year old learners
US Grade Level
learners per class


per week
Charged weekly
Meets 1x per week
Over 12 weeks
75 minutes per class

Available times

Table of available sections


Class Experience

Students will grow their knowledge and understanding of Shakespeare's Richard III, gaining skills that will carry over to all of Shakespeare's plays.
Students will discuss the differences between a history play and history.
Students will also gain confidence in reading aloud. While this is not an acting class, students will be encouraged to convey character as they become more comfortable with the language.
Students will demonstrate learning through classroom participation (reading and discussion) and in the completion of a final project.
Students will not be required to read the play outside of class, but are encouraged to share their journal responses to class discussions and to the scenes they have read in class.
Students will create a final project from a supplied list of possible projects or, alternatively, they can propose projects of their own.
We will be using the Folger Shakespeare Library text. There are many formats available for free download, but please be sure to select a version, like the PDF, that has line numbers. Download here: https://shakespeare.folger.edu/shakespeares-works/richard-iii/download/ If you would like a solid book with great footnotes, you can buy the Folger paperback edition here: https://bookshop.org/books/richard-iii-9781476786926/9781476786926 or here: https://www.powells.com/book/richard-iii-folger-shakespeare-9780743482844 or, if your town still has an independent brick and mortar store, do give them your business. Students should also have a notebook dedicated to this class. Done well, this notebook can be a resource for future Shakespeare courses.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
A class grade can be provided on request. There are no formal assessments.
1 hour 15 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.
This is pretty mature content, mainly due to violence and disturbing interfamily betrayals.

This is what Common Sense Media has to say about the 1955 film version:

Parents need to know that Richard III is a . . . Shakespearian tragedy, directed by and starring Laurence Olivier, that appears much like a filmed play. It's one of Shakespeare's more violent stories, with the violence relatively strong for its time. One character is bludgeoned and drowned in a cask of wine. Another character is beheaded by an axe, with the camera pulling away as the axe falls -- afterwards blood is shown running down the axe blade. Two young boys are smothered to death in their bed. During the climactic battle there is much sword fighting but only one death that's relatively graphic, with the character having his throat cut before being set upon by dozens of swordsmen. The dialogue is largely taken verbatim from Shakespeare's original play. Audiences unfamiliar with the playwright's work may need patience to adapt to the rhythm and language used. The script includes "bastard" -- used in its literal sense -- and "damn."

Teacher's note: CSM rates this film as appropriate for children as young as 10, but I think the play itself is too much for all but the most mature and above-average 12-year-old. Of course, you know your child a lot better than I do.


Maureen Tobin
Lives in the United States
I Love Literature!
178 total reviews
207 completed classes

About Me

A retired English teacher, I hold an MFA in Creative Writing and a bachelor's degree in Language Arts Education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  I currently work as a reading and writing coach for students of all ages. (Continued below... 
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