THE SLINGS AND ARROWS Reviewing Shakespeare

Two writers on the Bard and pop culture

Archive for September 2012

My Car Park For a Horse…

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Many in literary and historical fields were fascinated recently to hear that everyone’s favourite hunchback king may indeed have been laid to rest in what is now a city carp park. I’ll let the specialists offer the analysis, and it is in no way conclusive, but if their suspicions are correct, then King Richard III’s remains may have been discovered… or at least that of another poor, bludgeoned hunchback.

While the finding piques our collective curiosity, it raises a larger question, namely, what to do with the corpse now we have it. We’ve dug it up. We’re gonna have to put it down somewhere. So pending more analysis, many are calling for the monarch to be reinterred in a more appropriate location. In fact, Richard III’s bones may see a state funeral more befitting a King of England.

This notion is initially surprising. To our imaginations Richard III is a Machievellian murderer, the progenitor of all moustache twirling villains. However, first and foremost, Richard III was a man of history, and the anti-hero of vindictive wit we have come to know and love (reviewed by myself here, and Ben here) was just another fiction from a wool merchant’s son.

Over his brief rule, history proved Richard III to be a noteworthy and progressive king, legislating legal support for the poor and enabling the free trade of English literature. We may cherish the villain we see on the stage, but given the facts, a royal burial may indeed be a better end for a fair leader and the last English king to die in battle…




September 24, 2012 at 6:26 am

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