In my recent blog “Deformity, Heroes, Repulsion, and Love,” I mentioned Richard III as a classic example of storytellers like Shakespeare demonizing someone with a deformity.* Even Disney –the current most trusted storyteller for children–has been caught doing it lately, as I pointed out in my blog about Johnny Depp’s The Lone Ranger demonizing a villain with a cleft lip.
Some academics, by the way, claimed Shakespeare was just taking literary license by giving his mean, murderous king in Richard III the posture of a hunchback. But records from people who’d seen Richard III when he was alive suggested he, in fact, suffered from a deformity, besides being slight of stature.
Academics of another sort, however, have resolved the issue. A combo of archeologists and DNA experts not only found Richard III’s remains recently, but tested them for authenticity. The verdict: Richard III suffered from severe scoliosis or spine curvature.
The discovery of Richard III’s skeleton was quite a story, but recent headlines suggest that the cities of York and Leisester in England are now fighting over his remains.
Click to see CNN’s story about the battle over the rights to the last king of England to die in battle.
Click here for the fascinating story of the search for Richard III’s remains.
*I pointed this out in my newly released book, Cleft Heart, as well:
What did startle me was that in some countries, people banished clefts to back rooms due to beliefs, like those espoused in the Old Testament, that clefts had been touched by Satan and made Gayle quoted her ninth-grade English teacher just a week ago, “Shakespeare perpetrated archaic beliefs, my English teacher says.
“What do you mean? “ I asked
“Shakespeare’s ruthless protagonist in Richard III, ” Gayle said,” convinced audiences for centuries that Satan had touched deformed people. “