Deformity in Richard Iii

Some scholars insist that Richard was neither crippled nor humpbacked,

and they are passionately dedicated to proving that Shakespeare's

portrait of the inhuman monster is based on Tudor propaganda used to

bolster Henry VII's weak claim to the throne

              The only "proof" we have of Richard III's deformity is that which

is provided by Sir Thomas More in "The History of King Richard the

Third".   It is here that modern readers digest the adjectives which

forever plague Richard "Little of stature, ill-featured of limbs,

crooked-backed, his left shoulder much higher than his right".   This

description may seem horrible, but it is only compounded when it is

placed next to the deformity of his character.   Regardless of whether

Richard was truly the demon he was portrayed to be, the role of Richard

III as established by William Shakespeare is one of the more

challenging roles for the Shakespearean actor. Because this week's

annotations were to be focused on the actor's perspective of

Shakespeare, I chose to focus my posting on the same topic.

              First of all, Richard III is on stage longer than any other Bard

character. Usually, the time on stage is not a bed of roses either.

The actor must limp, wear a hump, or at least hunch over for the

duration of the play.   This may doom an actor to chiropractic

sessions for the rest of their life!

              Certain actors have defined the role of Richard.   Antony Sher

researched the affects of scoliosis on the body, and any other

back deformity he could.   When it was time for him to begin acting the

role and he saw the make-up crews version of his hump he stated,

"With my heart in my mouth, I hurry over to see my back.   It's

much softer than I imagined, lying on the floor like a big...