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Experiment Day One, Part 2

In the evening we went to see the excellent production of “Richard III” at Stratford-upon-Avon. Something which had never struck me about the play before (or indeed about any of Shakespeare’s plays) was how Catholic it is. In fact the whole play is one extended depiction of what happens when God’s order is ignored.

Richmond, the future Henry VII, has the God-given mission to bring back order. Before the final battle he prays:

O Thou, Whose captain I account myself,
Look on my forces with a gracious eye.
Put in their hands Thy bruising irons of wrath,
That they may crush down with a heavy fall
The usurping helmets of our adversaries.
Make us Thy ministers of chastisement,
That we may praise Thee in the victory.
To Thee do I commend my watchful soul,
Ere I let fall the windows of mine eyes.
Sleeping and waking, O defend me still!

I would love to see a production which emphasises the religious aspect, rather than treat it as a quaint historical relic as most modern productions do.

Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2008 at 05:02PM by Registered CommenterSi Fractus Fortis in , , | Comments2 Comments

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Reader Comments (2)

Glad to see that you're posting again!

I read somewhere that Shakespeare may have known Edmund Campion. Do you know anything about this?

February 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJesuit John

I've read Waugh's life of Campion and don't remember its being mentioned, even as a possibility. Shakespeare would only have been 17 when Campion was martyred and he (Campion) had been out of the country for nine of the previous ten years. So at the most I think it would have been a case of "met Campion" rather than "known Campion". It would still have made a huge impression on him if he did of course.

Afternote: I googled 'shakespeare campion' and discovered that Campion was the real author of Shakespeare's plays. That makes everything clear then!

February 18, 2008 | Registered CommenterSi Fractus Fortis

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