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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: November ::
Re: R3/Iago
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1115.  Tuesday, 4 November 1997.

[1]     From:   James Marino <
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        Date:   Monday, 03 Nov 1997 14:26:01 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1112  Re: R3/Iago

[2]     From:   Peter T. Hadorn <
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        Date:   Monday, 03 Nov 1997 18:24:41 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 8.1102  Richard III vs. Iago


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James Marino <
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Date:           Monday, 03 Nov 1997 14:26:01 -0700
Subject: 8.1112  Re: R3/Iago
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1112  Re: R3/Iago

Greetings all:

 Richard III is
>more human, I mean, you can sort of sympathise with him, or at least
>imagine yourself in his place. If I had been a crooked, ugly hunchback,
>overlooked all my life and slighted, also clever and ambitious, I could
>not guarantee that I would not act like R. III. But Iago??

It seems that every year at least one of my students has presented a
defense of Gloucester on the grounds of imagined abuse in his childhood
because of his shape. I have used the observation to lead into a
discussion of the ways that we can realize a role in the play.  I do
feel obliged to point out to the student that millions have suffered
similar difference without justifying murder and melodrama, and that
probably, on average, malice is no more extensive in that group than in
the population as a whole. More interesting is the question of what
Shakespeare would see as cause and effect in disfigured villains.

Regards,
James Marino

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter T. Hadorn <
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Date:           Monday, 03 Nov 1997 18:24:41 -0600
Subject: 8.1102  Richard III vs. Iago
Comment:        RE: SHK 8.1102  Richard III vs. Iago

"Who is more 'evil,' Richard III or Iago?"

At first blush I questioned the relevance of the question, but then I
got wondering.  Is there a relevant difference between a villain who
threatens on a merely personal level (Iago, Caliban (?), Don John) and
someone who threatens society's foundation (R3, Macbeth)?  Or is all
social villainy really personal and personal villainy social?
 

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