Richard III – Act II, Scene 1 in Battery Park

There’s really something about this fake reunion scene between the Woodvilles and the rest of the court that jives with this statue of the immigrants just landed from Ellis Island. I don’t know, does ‘fish out of water’ cover it? Maybe not – probably a contributing factor is the Hans-Solo-esque capturing of these desperate souls in carbonite – frozen in their postures of most exquisite release – blissed, obviously for finishing their journey here, but also horribly doomed in another way. Doomed in retrospect. Doomed by stereotyping, tenement houses, ignorance, and the Great Depression.

Doomed by connivers who will seek to manipulate them. Sound familiar? Ah yes we’re reading Richard III, and in this scene Richard of Gloucester plays the angel who hates to be at discord, and who seeks ‘all men’s love.’ Whomever really does seek all men’s love will die quickly in the most dangerous of worlds. The resonance continues. We are in Battery Park – the Statue of Liberty in sight, and along the fault line that leads from it to the charred Globe statue that was removed from the 9/11 rubble. All men’s love?

I rarely embrace cynicism, but isn’t Shakespeare somehow telling us that it’s a tool? A tool to stay above the fray, to know when to fly to safety, to trust only the people who we are positive will improve our quality of life? WEIGH IN BELOW.

, , , ,