Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0007. Friday, 3 January 1997.
Date: Thursday, 02 Jan 1997 15:40
Subject: Richard III, Lover
I recently saw "Looking for Richard" and you can add my name to the crowd of
admirers. I suspect (and hope) it eventually finds its way into classrooms.
The film does much to sweep away the intimidation of dealing with Shakespeare.
I got a big laugh out of watching several scholars and actors describe iambic
pentameter (De-dah, de-dah,de-dah, de-dah, de-dah)
A question occurred to me, and I'm sure someone else has thought about it
before, so I was hoping the list could add some perspective for me. At the
very opening of the play, Richard attributes part of his evil planning to the
idea that he is not made to play the lover:
"But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
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."
However, one scene later he proves to be quite a lover with Lady Anne:
"Was ever woman in this humour woo'd?
Was ever woman in this humour won?"
Has anyone ever considered this discrepancy or do we just write it off as
necessary to keep the play moving?