Shakespeare’s Richard III
The old, (Sir) Ian McKellan-led Richard III was the gold standard, and before his fall from grace? The (previously) acclaimed Kevin Spacey toured with a version of Richard III — made him perfect for that House of Cards. Subsequent fall from grace? Even more perfect for a Richard the Third, no?
“I cannot tell, the world is grown so bad
That wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch.”
- Gloucester 1.3.69
“Dispute not with her, she is lunatic.”
Marquess of Dorset R3 (I.iii.243)
The opening strains, “Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious by this sun of York, &c.” via Capricorn 3.29.1999.
Woke up in the backside of a farmhouse, heavy morning fog, and best of all? Writing Spiders. Outlined with the heavy morning dew, an empty web sagging with its watery weight, and the sun mostly obscured. Perfect start to an afternoon marked with Richard the Third’s butchery.
There is a lesson from Shakespeare’s play, its history, and a remarkably modern message, about politically expedient untruths. Lies that get repeated often enough that they are believed.
“And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.”
Richard Duke of Gloucester (Richard 3) 1.1.29
“Since I cannot prove a lover I am determined to prove a villain”
The factual history does not entirely support Shakespeare’s version of events. Some of this was “based on a true story,” and some was mere fabrication, which is part of the message of the play, about repeating a political stance just to advance a private agenda.
Watch out for kings with minority support when those monarchs claim support of the masses.
Shakespeare’s Richard III
At 3,600 lines (approximately), it’s one of the longest plays, the villainous Richard gets roughly a third of the speaking bits. That’s a lot to learn.
The groundling comedy was played up, the tragedy wasn’t hammered home until the end, and which a critic, critical source, said that Richard 3 was a history play that felt like a tragedy?
At UT Winedale-Shakespeare. In the barn.
What’s so exceptional about Shakespeare in the barn? Cast approximates the number and style, if not educational background — and a stage arrangement — it all approximates the intended experience from the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage (experience).
The kid who played Richard 3? Looked like he was in high school, but he commanded the stage like malevolent prince who became king. He moved with a certain embodiment of the regal villain.
Shakespeare’s Richard III
“Didn’t take long, only a few years. What I was thinking about, I was of the mind I would never get hip-deep in Shakespeare’s “History Plays,” especially the questionable Henry 6 trilogy. But then over time, I found a fascination with the language, some of the plot elements, the way the history was presented, and the whole, “Made for TV” compared with sprawling saga knights, all that is holy, and mystical beings. Some history, some “adapted for the stage” history, and some fabrications. Which part is which? Kind of hard to tell without delving into dry, boring history books that track the actual lineage and have the proper context for the material. Yeah, never thought I was going to do that. Started with just a single play, and suddenly, there’s three plays in order, and then there’s the question of the order of the three plays, apparently, Part 2 was first, then came the first, then the third, and, the way I see it, it was like a movie franchise, the first was successful, so there’s a prequel and a sequel. Not the entire set of plays, but parts of them have passages that are obviously Shakespeare’s handiwork, and that language, even then, is quite fetching. Alluring, even, to me. Then, these three plays are the set-up for one of the best villains in historical fiction, Shakespeare’s Richard III. He’s a surly bastard. For Scorpio, I’m not recommending the early Shakespeare triad of Henry 6 plays, but I am suggesting, there’s a thread, a simple yearning, and one must explore wherever that takes us.”
“As final part of the notion of following up with a Shakespeare play I previously mentioned? The three parts of Henry 6? They all lead to the majesty of one of the greatest evil characters ever invented in historical fiction. Shakespeare’s King Richard III is one of my favorite examples of the power of the word. The historical record doesn’t treat him nearly as bad as Shakespeare’s pen does; although, the king’s remains were unearthed beneath a carpark. Recent advances in forensic and archeological analysis proved it was the king’s remains, and proved he did suffer with a curved spine. Facts and fictions? For Scorpio, this is about what is fact, and what is fiction, and proves, if a story is repeated often enough, many people will come to believe it. Doesn’t make it true, still, you can get a lot of followers. The message from me to Scorpio remains similar, though, there’s a thread of tale, and that thread of a tale needs to be tugged. See what unravels.”
- Aperture: ƒ/1.6
- Camera: iPhone 12
- Flash fired: no
- Focal length: 4.2mm
- ISO: 32
- Shutter speed: 1/9804s