Sunday, February 27, 2011

Richard III: act 1, scene 2


i saw some devised theater today! devised theatre that has few words at that. PB&J Theatre Factory creates some engaging and clever theatre. the name of this play is Shhhh! that is all i will say. i don't want to ruin it for anyone. if you can, you should check them out.

Shakespeare time! it's gettin' good:
act 1, scene 2
   (guards enter, bearing the corpse of Henry VI. Lady Anne [widow of Henry’s son, Edward] follows.)
Anne: let’s stop for a moment. oh, Henry. my poor husband was killed by the same man who stabbed you to death. and curse him for doing so. i hope he ends up more miserable than i am now.
   (Richard enters.)
Richard: stay awhile.
Anne: go away. don’t trouble me. ‘for thou hast made the happy earth a hell.’ (she uncovers the corpse.) look, Henry’s wounds have re-opened and bleed again. i hope heaven strikes you dead, or the earth opens wide and eats you up.
Richard: you perfect woman, could it be possible that you would forgive these things i have done? let me explain.
Anne: there is no excuse you can make, except to hang yourself.
Richard: what if i say i didn’t kill them?
Anne: then they wouldn’t be dead, but they are, so you’re a liar.
Richard: it was my brother Edward that killed them.
Anne: you’re a liar. Queen Margaret saw what you did. you killed him, didn’t you?
Richard: yes. and all the better for God to have him.
Anne: yes, he is in heaven, where you will never go. you’re ‘unfit for any place but hell.’
Richard: i’m fit for one other place… your bedroom.
Anne: NO way.
Richard: it was because of your beauty that i killed them.
Anne: if i believed that, i would rip this beauty off of my face.
Richard: your husband died so you could find a better husband.
Anne: there is no one better than him on earth. go away!
Richard: i’m dying inside because i love you and you hate me. people have died all around me, and i never cried for them. but i have cried for you. if you will not love me, kill me with this sword.
   (she aims the sword at him, but drops it.)
Anne: get up. i want you dead, but i won’t kill you myself.
Richard: then tell me to kill myself and i will do it. ‘this love, which for thy love did kill thy love, shall for thy love kill a far truer love.’
Anne: ‘i wish i knew thy heart’. put your sword away.
Richard: is there hope for me? wear this ring for me. (he slips it on her finger.) go to Crosby House. i will take care of Henry, and come to see you when i am done.
Anne: i will do it. i am happy to see you are penitent. (she exits.)
Richard: did a man ever win a woman this way? (see quote below.) has she already forgotten her husband? i stabbed him 3 months ago. there never was a sweeter man. somehow she finds me to be a man worthy of her love.

so just in case you didn’t know, back then it was thought that the wounds on a dead body would bleed if the dead person was in the presence of their murderer. interesting, huh? that’s why anne says that in the scene.

um, how brilliant is Richard? he is SO freaking sneaky it’s insane. he murdered this girl’s husband and father-in-law! in one scene, he gets her to go from hating him completely to agreeing to wear his ring. i mean, come ON. that’s stellar work. i love how Shakespeare creates this character that is so incredibly villainous, but you’re glued to the page trying to figure out what he’s going to do next. i wouldn’t say i’m rooting for him, but i don’t want him to stop being dastardly either. i’m enjoying his plotting and lying immensely.

quote of the day:
'was ever a woman in this humor wooed?
was ever a woman in this humor won?
i'll have her, but i will not keep her long.'
     -Richard; act 1, scene 2

for tomorrow: act 1, scene 3

-rebecca may


  1. Oh, that quote! Was there ever a skeevier man?? All through the margins of my copy I have written ICK ICK ICK and other equally articulate comments. Glad you are reading this one instead of Titus Andronicus.

  2. Playa! I like "this love, which for thy love did kill thy love, shall for thy love kill a far truer love." It's especially cool how I totally understand what he's saying in the context of the scene, but the words are so confusing otherwise. Maybe that mesmerizing repetition helped Richard hypnotize Anne.

    I'm still looking forward to TITUS ANDRONICUS. Depending upon the state of my life at that time, I may actually re-read that one to follow along with you. Yeah-yuh!

  3. i know! richard is crazy! and so fun to read. i am glad i am reading this one now, but i'm excited to read Titus too!