“Now is the winter of our discontent,” the play begins, the line spoken by Richard, a bitter, malignant combatant in the medieval Wars of the Roses. He’s a nasty piece of work, and admits it up front. And he’s after the crown, but there are many claimants in his way. How will he get rid of them? Shakespeare’s language in this play is brilliant and beautiful, including some of his best insults, as when former Queen Margaret calls Richard a “poisonous, bunch-backed toad”! Come and be amazed, or horrified, by Richard’s evil designs. What forces in the play, and maybe in himself, stand against his ambition, cruelty, amorality? No experience with Shakespeare is necessary. The first week will be an introduction to the play (no reading for that week), followed by five weeks, one act per week until done.