Shakespeare’s Richard III is a gripping melodrama about the rise and fall of a tyrant. Unlike Macbeth, who is a good man who commits a crime and only then becomes a corrupt tyrant, Richard is evil by nature, as symbolized by his physical deformity. He makes his way to the throne by ordering the murder of anyone in his way. During his vicious ascent to the throne, he often engages directly with the audience in a series of witty soliloquies. Once king, he rules by terror until his inevitable downfall, brought about by an array of forces—not so much psychological as moral, political and providential.
Fortunately, there are two cinematic versions, each available for rental for about $4. Laurence Olivier’s 1955 version is pure but effective melodrama. Ian McKellan’s 1995 version makes Richard’s rise to power resonate visually with Hitler’s and provides a subtler psychological portrait of the title character. It might be fun to watch both and compare. When you RSVP, you will receive links to both versions.
Date: Wednesday, January 27
Time: 6:30 p.m. CST
Location: Zoom Video Conference