Richard III – Loyaulté me lie # 07

Our adaptation acquired another dimension when we decided that Jean Lambert-wild’s Richard III would be escorted by a woman: Élodie Bordas. When we discovered Richard III’s story, the historical character’s factual story as much as the story told by Shakespeare, we measured how his relationship with women was as complex as it is fascinating.

From the day he was born, Richard caused suffering in every woman around him, including his own mother who, day after day, saw him become intoxicated with sanguinary desires, to the point where she regretted giving birth to him. The youngest of twelve siblings, only half of whom survived, “cheated of feature by dissembling nature”, he finds that bouts of anger are the only way he can exist among his relatives. Throughout his life, he developed insidious strategies to convince himself of his own worth. 

More harshly, he laments the fact that vain earthly pleasures can so easily corrupt men. With disdain, he observes how men in positions of power can be distracted from their missions by feminine charms. He discovers with disgust how his own brother King Edward acts in this way after being crowned, how the victorious Lancaster at the battle of Towton is so easily manipulated by carnal desires. 

“To fright the souls of fearful adversaries, -

He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber

To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.”

He despises Queen Elizabeth and her lewd complaints raised by shameful selfishness. 

“His royal grace,

Cannot be quiet scarce a breathing-while,

But you must trouble him with lewd complaints.”

Similarly, he ignores the elderly Queen Margaret, whose crises of insanity had already been the topic of quarrels about her ineptitude to govern the Kingdom. He cannot bear to see Margaret manipulate her husband Henry VI and her son Edward, and he blames her for their madness.  When, later on, Richard shows interest for his daughter-in-law Anne Neville and woos her despite having killed her husband and her father, it is not out of sentimental affection for her. It is only because their union would allow the rallying of the Houses of York and Lancaster, and would widen his kingdom if he was made king.  Every woman Richard encountered, throughout his life, eventually cursed him.

Hated by everybody, cursed by Queen Margaret, rejected by his mother, insulted by his wife, Richard ignores the feelings of everyone around him. All these women despise him, but none of them has ever moved him. Why would he try to genuinely be attractive to them? In a way, Richard is a sort of counter-Dom Juan, his exact geometrical opposite. When Don Juan’s selfish desire is to appeal to women and revel in the present, Richard only seeks to be fulfilled through a “secret close intent”. In geometry, symmetry takes place along a differential axis or point. Similarly, there is a common axis between these two characters: no social, moral or religious rule could get in the way of their endeavours.

In a way, Richard, that some see as a monster and some as a traitor, this perfidious and sanguinary character, might only be misunderstood, a deeply melancholic character, “rudely stamp’d, and want love’s majesty”. His secret and close design might be to organise a great Feast with the Statue, and to invite the whole world, so as to finally exist.        

Carnet de bord - 4

Francois Royet


Un clown, alité, face à son propre reflet, face à un double féminin qui se métamorphose, lui renvoyant l’image de...