Monday, March 23, 2015

Richard III, we hardly knew ye...

But isn't he famous for murdering children? Wait, who are you talking about? You ask, more than a little tired of this lead in. Why King Richard III, I reply, once again pretending that you've asked me to explain. But seriously, check out his funeral:
Could you imagine the turn out if he wasn't a child killer?
"M'eh, just an Earl. We're going to keep
digging until we hit at least a Duke."
Yeah, that Richard III, the medieval English King whose unmarked grave archaeologists dug up in a parking lot because in England you can't stick a shovel in the dirt without digging up someone historical. It sounds like I'm kidding, but seriously, a team of researchers from the University of Leichester decided to excavate an old church, you know, on the off-chance that there'd be some clues as to where Richard III's body might have been dumped, and whatta ya know? Corpse one is the hunchbacked Tricky Dick of the fifteenth century.

Amazing right? Yes. Absolutely. Although it does seem like he's getting an awfully fancy funeral for a guy who's not only been dead since 1485, but also probably murdered his nephews. I mean, I'm not saying they should toss his bones in a sack, spit on them and chuck them in a lake, but c' wouldn't be completely undeserved. 
"I'll miss the way he used to turn to the audience and
soliloquize about his schemes of usurpation and regicide..." 
"And I would have gotten away
with it if it weren't for-oh, wait, I
did get away with it. Hm! Suck it."

-Richard III, Act V Scene i
Ok, so I realize that I keep harping on this point and that there's no concrete evidence that Richard murdered his nephews and that it's totally possible that he doesn't deserve his reputation. After all, anyone in a position of power is going to make political enemies and five centuries of bad press from William Goddamn Shakespeare can't possibly help. On the other hand, he totally did it. Look, I'm not an historian or anything, but Edward IV dies, and his son Edward V is the new king. But Edward's twelve, so his uncle Richard is put in charge and immediately sends Edward V and his younger brother off to the Tower of London for safe-keeping. They're never seen or heard from again and Richard becomes the new king. Scooby and the gang could have solved this one without Velma.

Anyway, murderer or no (but probably yes), there's no denying that he's a significant figure both in history and literature and not a lot of people can say that. Also, after five hundred years Richard III has still got people talking and arguing about him and that's something. I mean, good for him, right? I guess. Less so for the nephews. 
Also, it looks like he finally got that horse...

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