King Richard III was probably written in 1593, making it one of Shakespeare's earliest plays. He would have been 29 in that year. He had had a success with his chronicle plays about the Wars of the Roses, Henry VI, parts 1, 2 and 3 and Richard III followed these as the culmination of the story. This play however differs from its predecessors, being a more structured piece, examining the development and motivations of a single character, Richard Duke of Gloucester. Shakespeare was breaking new ground, testing his skills, though the play's structure owes much to the classical drama, and its characterisation to the early English morality and mystery plays. He hadn't, as yet, entirely found his own voice.