The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0371 Tuesday, 10 February 2004
Date: Monday, 9 Feb 2004 11:21:48 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Richard III without the Soliloquies
I'm teaching Richard III this week. We, the readers/audience, always
have Richard's soliloquies to free us from Anne's quandary when she
says, "I would I knew thy heart" (1.2.192). Though they are among
Shakespeare's great speeches, what would happen for us if Richard does
not later reveal himself with such lines as "I'll have her, but I will
not keep her long" (1.2.229). When I've seen this play performed, it is
usually with cuts of the citizen scene (2.3), the scrivener (3.6), and
much of 4.4.
Has a director ever experimented with reducing the soliloquies that
reveal Richard's intentions and emphasizing more the quandary of the
lower class and Richard's open interactions with the other nobles? Was
this an effective staging?
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