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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: March ::
Qs: R3's "amorous looking-glass"; Henry Irving R3
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0243  Monday, 23 March 1998.

[1]     From:   Pervez Rizvi <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Mar 1998 13:34:00 -0000
        Subj:   Richard III and his "amorous looking-glass"

[2]     From:   Wes Folkerth <
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        Date:   Saturday, 21 Mar 1998 14:29:01 -0500
        Subj:   Henry Irving R3 Speech


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pervez Rizvi <
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Date:           Wednesday, 18 Mar 1998 13:34:00 -0000
Subject:        Richard III and his "amorous looking-glass"

I've noted before that there's not a lot of appetite on this list for
textual discussion, so generally I keep my hare-brained ideas to myself,
but I can't bear not to share this one.

Consider the opening speech of Richard III in which he claims that he
cannot prove a lover because of his deformity:

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;
(1.1.14-17)

I've always found 'court an amorous looking-glass' to make sense in a
very strained way, if at all. It occurred to me that there might be a
subtle misprint here and that the phrase might actually be
'amorous-looking lass', i.e.

But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous-looking lass;

Doesn't this make more sense? Note that, with this emendation, these
lines become an alternative way of saying what the next two lines say:

I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;

This is consistent with the rest of the speech where Richard does tend
to repeat himself a bit. I've not seen this alternative reading noted
anywhere. Has anyone?

If you're interested in this you can read more in a note on my humble
newly-built home page http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/4734/

Best wishes to all,
Pervez

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Wes Folkerth <
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Date:           Saturday, 21 Mar 1998 14:29:01 -0500
Subject:        Henry Irving R3 Speech

Hi all,

I hope those who went are having a great time at the SAA -- it looked
like a good program this year.

I was recently at the Library of Congress, where I heard a recording of
Henry Irving speaking part of the opening monologue from Richard III.
The LOC also has this speech on an LP made in 1971 or 1972 called
"Authors and Actors" by a Canadian label, Rococo Records.  It has been
pretty hard to find, even here in Montreal.

Does anyone on the list know if there are any currently-available
sources for a recording of this performance?  I would be very, very
grateful for any suggestions on where I might be able to purchase it.
You can respond either to the list, or to me personally if you prefer.

Thank you in advance,
Wes Folkerth

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