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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: February ::
Handsome Richard III?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0061  Monday, 20 February 2006

[1] 	From: 	Gabriel Egan <
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	Date: 	Saturday, 18 Feb 2006 18:54:12 -0000
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0051 Handsome Richard III?

[2] 	From: 	John W. Kennedy <
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 >
	Date: 	Saturday, 18 Feb 2006 17:02:00 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0051 Handsome Richard III?

[3] 	From: 	Christine Gordon <
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	Date: 	Saturday, 18 Feb 2006 17:38:19 -0600
	Subj: 	Re: Handsome Richard III

[4] 	From: 	Peter Bridgman <
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	Date: 	Sunday, 19 Feb 2006 00:54:27 -0000
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0051 Handsome Richard III?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Gabriel Egan <
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Date: 		Saturday, 18 Feb 2006 18:54:12 -0000
Subject: 17.0051 Handsome Richard III?
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0051 Handsome Richard III?

It's only a small point of detail, but when Stuart Manger imagines the 
absurdity of hypothesizing that in The Tempest:

 >Ariel doesn't sink the ship in the first three minutes . . .

he's actually describing the play Shakespeare wrote:

"ARIEL Safely in harbour | Is the King's ship" (1.2.228-9)

As the second scene makes clear, the first scene is an illusion. Unlike 
Medea, from whom his abjuration-of-powers speech is lifted, Prospero 
can't undo disasters and must not destroy things if he wants to use them 
later. Thus conversation (as opposed to restoration) is the 'green' 
theme of the play.

Gabriel Egan

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John W. Kennedy <
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Date: 		Saturday, 18 Feb 2006 17:02:00 -0500
Subject: 17.0051 Handsome Richard III?
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0051 Handsome Richard III?

Donald Bloom <
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 >

 >I thought it was generally accepted that the hunchback and withered
 >arm were a total fabrication of Sir Thomas More's concocting (one
 >of many).

A contemporary portrait can be interpreted as indicating that his right 
shoulder was higher than his left, but English painters of the 1480's 
had not, perhaps, quite utterly mastered the art of perspective.

Stuart Manger <
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 >

 >Can anyone explain why a student or director or a teacher would want
 >to encourage anyone to fly so far and fast in the face of almost every
 >major tenet of the play's thesis as to promote such a concept?

Indeed, /Shakespeare's/ Richard III is a hunchback with a withered arm, 
just as his (offstage) Richard I is a heterosexual, his Hotspur is a 
youth, and his Julius Caesar is an indecisive old man.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Christine Gordon <
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Date: 		Saturday, 18 Feb 2006 17:38:19 -0600
Subject: 	Re: Handsome Richard III

In a production in 2005 for which I served as dramaturg, our extremely 
attractive leading actor, Gary Geiken, transformed himself into Richard 
during the course of the opening soliloquy: no add-on parts, just very 
vivid, physically feasible adjustment--the "crookback" shoulder, a limp, 
etc. I hope to see the current Blackfriars Theatre production when their 
tour reaches Iowa in March; their lead, Andrew Gorell, is also very 
handsome, but I don't know at this point how he performs the role.

Chris Gordon, Minneapolis

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Peter Bridgman <
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Date: 		Sunday, 19 Feb 2006 00:54:27 -0000
Subject: 17.0051 Handsome Richard III?
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0051 Handsome Richard III?

Don Bloom writes ...

 >I thought it was generally accepted that the hunchback and withered
 >arm were a total fabrication of Sir Thomas More's concocting.

I thought it was generally accepted that More got the deformity stuff 
from his mentor John Morton (the Bishop of Ely in the play) and More 
translated Morton's Latin account into English.

Peter Bridgman

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