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FreeThinker

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One of my favorite Shakespearean quotes, from Richard III. And, now, it seems that a villainous wrong is about to be righted.

Richard III has been found in a parking lot in Leicester.

No, this is not a Monty Python skit. The bones of King Richard III have been discovered in an archaeological dig under a car park in the city of Leicester. The much-maligned king, killed by the army of Henry VII in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, has been identified by DNA testing and by the scoliosis of the spine for which he was noted. He will be given a proper royal burial soon in a ceremony at Leicester Cathedral.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/04/king-richard-iii-skeleton-found_n_2614269.html

There are those who wish to resurrect his reputation, badly maligned by Tudors and by Shakespeare, and I am of mixed feelings about this. He probably wasn't as bad as they say, though anyone who could throw the princes, Edward and Richard, into the Tower, isn't high on my list of heroes.

Speaking of the Princes in the Tower, I saw the famous painting by Sir John Millais from the Royal Holloway collection on tour several years ago.I have loved this painting since I was a teenager.

369px-Princes.jpg

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It's a fascinating story. Richard was slain during the Battle of Bosworth Field which ended the Wars of the Roses. Richard's body was taken to Leicester in order for Henry VII to prove he was dead and thus take the throne, and finally buried in a church ... which, five hundred years later became a car park for the local council offices. They found his remains in the very first place they put a trench.

The documentary is well worth watching if you can get Channel 4 in the U.K..

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I heard on the radio today that Shakespeare's account of R III was written after the Tudors were reigning and so was politically correct for the times. The radio account says he wasn't nearly as bad as the Tudor PR guys made him out to be and his cruelty and murders were mostly made up.

Not being British, I have no idea, but that does sound like the way we do things over here.

C

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Arg! Cannot sleep!!!

Paco and I are soon to look sort of like these two cuties, except we will be wearing knee boots with our doublets. I expect we will be like salt and pepper though.

Speaking of the Princes in the Tower, I saw the famous painting by Sir John Millais from the Royal Holloway collection on tour several years ago.I have loved this painting since I was a teenager.

369px-Princes.jpg

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That is a great story. I thought it was interesting that they confirmed what Shakespeare had surmised: that Richard III had curvature of the spine, as he's been portrayed on stage for years.

The closest I've come to seeing Richard III performed was in The Goodbye Girl, where Richard Dreyfuss reluctantly portrays the king as a lisping queen. "Now ith the winter of my disthcontent..." "A horth... a horth... my kingdom for a horth!" You had to be there.

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Then there was the TV commercial which announced,

"Now is the discount of our winter sale."

The debate on Richard III not being as bad as history and Shakespeare would have us believe, has long been discussed in the classical theatre. In the end, the play is accepted as being more an entertainment rather than a factual recreation of history. Some elements of truth, mixed with dramatic license and popularised propaganda.

I have the soundtrack of the Laurence Olivier movie version on vinyl LPs no less, and it was a constant companion for me when I was 17, learning to overcome the inarticulate Australian accent.

As for the other film versions, I find them less than satisfactory.

If Sylvestor Stallone had gone to classical acting class, I wonder if he would have eventually made a version called Ricky 3.

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