Mass Confusion: The Fall of Richard

As we’ve noted before, Richard is never the same after Richard Duke of York mocks him in Act Three, Scene One of Richard the Third.  At the time, we looked at how his speeches change and move away from soliloquies (and thus, us as an audience).  But it’s not just his speech that changes; his mental faculties atrophy as well.

Before the tipping point, he is quick, able to make decisions at a flash when an opportunity arises:
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A New Contendah… (and maybe the Champ!)

OK, yesterday’s blog/podcast dealt with Richard the Third productions available on DVD.  So technically, this one doesn’t fit the criteria.
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The Answer Man Loses It and Turns into the Great Equivocator

A couple of weeks back, when we discussed the Lady Anne wooing scene in Act One, Scene Two of Richard the Third, we called him the Answer Man for his ability to both “answer” Anne’s arguments as well as wear her down with both rhetoric and pronouns.

In Act Four, Scene Four, we have another wooing scene, in which Richard unsuccessfully attempts to win Queen Elizabeth’s approval for (and assistance in) a wooing of Princess Elizabeth, the Queen’s daughter with his own brother Edward IV.  Let’s see what goes wrong in this wooing.
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Podcast 29: Richard the Third DVD Reviews

This week’s podcast includes a continuation of our month-long discussion of Richard the Third, including DVD reviews of the BBC Collected Works and An Age of Kings productions, as well as both the Olivier and McKellen film versions.  Also discussed is the Pacino documentary, Looking for Richard, plus a recap of this week’s blog entries.
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Be Careful What You Wish For…

In Richard the Third, Hastings rashly says, “I’ll have this crown of mine cut from my shoulders // Before I’ll see the crown so foul misplaced” (III.ii.43-44) on Richard’s head.  Two Scenes later, he gets his wish in a glowing example of the BCWYWFYJMGI Principle (Be Careful What You Wish For… You Just Might Get It).
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Trends and the Tipping Point for a Vengeful God

In Act One of Richard the Third, Richard speaks more heavily in soliloquies and asides than in any other act: a total of 117 lines, divided amongst six speeches:
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The Man in the Middle

Remember a couple of days back, we talked a little about Henry Stafford, the 2nd Duke of Buckingham.  He was aligned to

  • the Beauforts, through his mother Margaret Beaufort,
  • the Nevilles, via his grandmother Anne Neville,  and
  • the Woodevilles, by marriage to Catherine Woodeville.

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Life (er, Death) Could be a Dream

Remember back in Act One, Scene Four of Richard the Third, when George Duke of Clarence retells his nightmare, which begins

Methinks that I had broken from the Tower
And was embarked to cross to Burgundy

— I.iv.9-10

One has to wonder if this is a reference to an entire sequence of historical events NOT discussed by Shakespeare…
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Me, You, Anne, Thou, and Richard: Who’s the Answer Man???

When Act One, Scene Two of Richard the Third begins with Lady Anne’s entrance, we know who she is.  Just lines before, in Richard’s last soliloquy of the opening scene, he tells us of his intention to “marry Warwick’s youngest daughter” (I.i.153), but he us that he is already at a disadvantage as he “killed her husband and her father” (I.i.154).
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