QotW: 25 June 2018 (#47)

All the world IS a stage, where Richard is concerned …

BH chameleon

Year 12 face their mock exam this coming Friday, with varying degrees of panic.

So, this week’s QotW is actually a BOGOF offer.  I often talk about Richard III being a ‘season finale’ to the History plays.  The chameleon quotation above comes from the penultimate episode, as you might remember, people.  Richard is – at least until it all begins to unravel for him – the consummate actor.

But don’t just take my word for it:

We’ve talked a lot about the performative aspects of Richard’s journey to the throne.  Here’s James R Siemon, himself citing George Steevens, in the Introduction to my Arden:

‘In 1793 George Steevens praised the role of Richard for its dizzying variety, as ‘perhaps beyond all others variegated’ and comprehending ‘a trait of almost every species of character on the stage.  The hero, the lover, the statesman, the buffoon, the hypocrite, the hardened and repenting sinner &c.’

I’d call this AO5, people:  ‘explore literary texts informed by different interpretations.’

Or as ‘Apollo Creed’ succinctly told me the other day (you know who you are):  ‘what other people think’.

We could do worse, if we are faced with an extract question about Richard, than deciding what type of character Shakespeare wants him to perform at that stage in the play.  And remembering that we only ever see the true Richard in his soliloquies …

Good luck for Friday’s mock exam, troops!  Don’t forget that management BS we discussed last Friday:  ‘HOLISTIC‘.


William Shakespeare, King Richard III (Arden Third Edition, ed. James R Siemon), (Bloomsbury:  London, 2014)

Author: Boar's Head, Eastcheap

Hyperactive English Teacher and Tutor; Shakespeare-obsessed 'Villainous abominable misleader of youth'; 'old white-bearded Satan'; Friend of the Orangutan

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