14 Nov 2008

Camelo Bene's Riccardo III, after first monologue up to Lady Grey's entrance

by Corry Shores
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Richard calls attention to himself, all in vain, because no one wants to listen to such an abnormal person; worse still, his noises disturb those already upset at the funeral. How impudent to demand attention at someone's funeral. Gloucester pities no one, not even the grieving widows. Richard is silenced even when beginning his famous Shakespearean monologue: "Now is the winter of our discontent..."

It is inappropriate for him to be present at the funeral, especial considering he is responsible for these deaths and the anguish of the present mourners. Fifteen minutes pass of Richard's rudely trying to obtain attention and acceptance, with no success. Richard is drunk and hallucinating, so the following dialogue is a bit scattered.

The Duchess calls to Richard, and says his brother Clarence has been put in prison because his name is "George."

Richard loses balance and slips again, while the Duchess changes her tone to that of a mother speaking to Richard as though an infant.

After rescuing the fallen Richard, the Duchess says that his brother King Edouard arrested his other brother Clarence because a prophesy said the letter would erase him from English history.

[From Shake I.i
He hearkens after prophecies and dreams;
And from the cross-row plucks the letter G.
And says a wizard told him that by G
His issue disinherited should be;
And, for my name of George begins with G,
It follows in his thought that I am he.]

Gloucester accusses Clarence's wife, Lady Grey, also known as Elizabeth, because she was also supposedly responsible for having Hastings locked up as well.

[Shake I.i
Why, this it is, when men are ruled by women:
'Tis not the king that sends you to the Tower:
My Lady Grey his wife, Clarence, 'tis she
That tempers him to this extremity.
Was it not she and that good man of worship,
Anthony Woodville, her brother there,
That made him send Lord Hastings to the Tower,]

Bene, Carmelo. Richard III. in Superpositions. Transl. Jean-Paul Manganaro and Danielle Dubroca. Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit, 1979.

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