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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Life and Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume 1: By Charles Darwin - Illustrated
Charles Darwin
Progress: 158/346 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 359/700 pages
Plasma physics
R.A. Cairns
Progress: 30/244 pages
Selected Short Stories - Conrad (Wordsworth Classics)
Keith Carabine, Joseph Conrad
Progress: 144/272 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 108/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics)
Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith
Progress: 76/448 pages
Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being
Ted Hughes
Progress: 478/517 pages
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages

The Tragedy of Richard III, William Shakespeare

The Tragedy of King Richard III - William Shakespeare

So I watched the BBC's new Richard III starring some guy with the unlikely name of Eggs Benedict Cummerbund (or summat like that). He was good, but really, if you're competent to speak Shakespeare then you can hardly fail when you have lines as fabulous as Richard III has. This version has hacked down not only numerous (perceived and real) enemies of the hunchbacked King but the play itself, reducing one of Shakespeare's longest works to a mere two hours. I used to wonder what's Richard's Tragedy, since he's a self declared villain from the outset? Now I see it as his descent from jolly, capering villainous pretender to paranoid, fearful King, unable to trust anybody. Which brings me to Ben Daniels' subtle portrayal of Buckingham, which outclasses Cumberbatch's work by some distance, convincingly dealing with the challenging problem of initially seeming to support Richard in spite of any outrage before baulking at the murder of the true heirs in the Tower.

 

In truth I much prefered both Ian McKellan's film take on Richard III as fascist dictator and Al Pacino's even more cut down performance in Looking for Richard, but this play is so good you just can't make it bad...