Posts Tagged ‘Richard III’

A long-standing obsession of mine has been act 1, scene 2, from Shakespeare’s Richard III. It’s the scene where Richard accosts Lady Anne during a funeral procession and, in the course of a few hundred lines, steers her from unmitigated loathing all the way ’round the bend to a point where she warms to his affection, accepts his ring, and considers his suit for her hand in marriage. Afterward, astonished, Richard asks us:

Was ever woman in this humour woo’d?
Was ever woman in this humour won?

Answer: No. Never. Not in a million years.

The complete implausibility of this scene has always puzzled me. I’ve read analyses of the play, pored through the variorum of the play, all to no avail. Shakespeare, generally quite good at character motivation and development, has shoehorned this relationship into his play, telling us “Just roll with it.”


My friend Barb, who knew of my curiosity on the topic, recommended I read Sharon Kay Penman’s historical opus, The Sunne in Splendour, a historical novel about Richard III. Now that I have, I’m glad I did, but the book is not without flaws. (more…)

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Two interesting articles out of the UK’s Guardian newspaper crossed my desk this morning. One was about bones, and one was about money.

First, a team of archaeologists and historians in Britain have uncovered the bones of Richard III. For real. The bones tell an amazing and horrifying story of the last moments of the last Plantagenet king, and the last British king to die in battle. And, for those who have been wondering just how much Shakespeare’s anti-Plantagenet propaganda was fiction regarding the king’s twisted form, we can now genuinely say that physically, at least, his depiction was accurate.

The team, working in a car park in Leicester, lifted the horribly severed skull, the arm and leg bones, and then the severely curved spine. The bones tell us something of his life, of his death, and of his treatment after death. Much of it was not pretty.

The second article I found of interest was an interview with Robert Reich and Jacob Kornbluth about the documentary that swept the Sundance Festival and will soon be in wide distribution. Inequality for All is being called the economy’s equivalent of An Inconvenient Truth.


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