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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: November ::
Determined to Be a Villain
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2158  Monday, 10 November 2003

[1]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Friday, 07 Nov 2003 13:54:22 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2139 Determined to Be a Villain

[2]     From:   Harvey Roy Greenberg <
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        Date:   Sunday, 9 Nov 2003 14:47:31 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2139 Determined to Be a Villain


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Friday, 07 Nov 2003 13:54:22 -0500
Subject: 14.2139 Determined to Be a Villain
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2139 Determined to Be a Villain

>I for one enjoyed Larry Weiss's suggestion that Richard 3's "determined
>to prove a villain" might mean that he's destined to be one rather than
>resolved to be one.
>
>However, I don't think anyone credited David S. Berkeley's note
>"'Determined' in Richard III, I.i.30" in Shakespeare Quarterly 14 (1963)
>pages 483-4, which said it first.

I was not aware of this paper.  Sorry for reinventing the wheel.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harvey Roy Greenberg <
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Date:           Sunday, 9 Nov 2003 14:47:31 EST
Subject: 14.2139 Determined to Be a Villain
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2139 Determined to Be a Villain

It's inconceivable to me that Richard's mind tends towards his destiny
in any complicated way, although the character is exceedingly complex.
The famous soliloquy -- at least to me -- clearly indicates that his
vile, if sometimes comic, exploitations and misdeeds will comprise a
dark triumph -- already beginning re the 'plots have I laid' -- and
revenge in relationship to his many deformities.

In Freudian terms -- the Freud of his paper on 'character types
encountered in psychoanalytic work', Richard reads rather well as
examples both of "The Exception" and "Those wrecked by success" which I
do not have time to go into now, except passim.

The issue of Richard's evil also brings to mind the many critical
viewpoints on Iago's motives. Iago, like Richard, offers a highly
plausible and rather simplistic explanation for his vile manipulations,
but it has been frequently commented that a great deal of tangled
motivation lies behind the 'simple gloss'. And then there is Coleridge's
famous mot of "motiveless malignity', evil so foul and deep that it
becomes it own mysterious justification, a signet of universal,
implacable evil"

I hope my memory of Pope is almost correct: "Thy hand, great anarch,
lets the curtain fall and Universal Darkness covers all....'"

Harvey Roy Greenberg

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