King Richard III Day

Today is the day that Richard III took power!  However, during the Tudor dynasty Richard III became the target of one of the most successful slanders in history.  William Shakespeare could not afford to love the last Stuart ruler while under the Tudors’ reign.  Hence, Richard III became an ugly, vile character, as if Shakespeare decided:

“Since I cannot prove a lover, I am determined to prove a villain.”

 

Of course, good ol’ Will made the king so charismatic that he could use his play “Richard III” for other ends, as well:

Upon a time when Burbage played Richard III, there was a citizen grew so far in liking with him that before she went from the play she appointed him to come that night unto her by the name of Richard the Third. Shakespeare overhearing their conclusion went before, was entertained, and at his game ere Burbage came. Then message being brought that Richard the Third was at the door, Shakespeare caused return to be made that William the Conqueror was before Richard the Third.

— E. K. Chambers, William Shakespeare. A Study of Facts and Problems (1930), ii. 212
(from John Manningham’s Diary, Harl. MS. 5353, f. 29v, ed. J. Bruce (1868) ).

I just love that story.

 

The real Richard of Gloucester:

1. Was not a humpback.

2. Had nothing to do with the execution of his brother.  In fact, he even resigned one of his posts for a day so he wouldn’t be forced to have any hand in putting Clarence to death.  (Also, by all accounts Clarence was a really bad egg, particularly to Richard’s wife.)

3. Has lots of evidence that he treated his wife Anne well.

4. Was an excellent military commander.

5. May or may not have killed his nephews, the princes in the tower.  For the record, I happen to believe he is innocent, but the debate over who killed the princes is always fierce.  What better day to declare my side of it than that of Richard III’s triumph?

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: