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I liked this sermon

I liked this sermon

Postby deadwhitemale » 25 Feb 2009, 11:16

http://www.r3.org/bosworth/stockton.html

Especially this part:

" We pause today to reflect upon death and upon life, to think of the vagaries of human existence that propel us from the depths to the heights and back again, that thrust us into prominence or obscurity, grant us fame or infamy, that give us riches and power or leave us impoverished, wounded, and desperate.

So much of what comes to us is beyond our control. Wealth, physical beauty, strength, intelligence, or their opposites are so seldom ours to choose that even those who seem in control of their destinies are often the puppets of forces well beyond their ken. Seldom do any of us--wealthy or poor, powerful or insignifi­cant--even realize what propels us or impedes us."


And this part:

" Five hundred years after the Battle of Bosworth Field there are details of history lost to us but known as well as if they had happened yesterday.

Let us think of the young woman who went into her decline with a permanent emptiness in her heart over a youthful love taken from her and a life of shared happiness never known.

Let us think of the parents who spent years remembering a baby boy playing in the kitchen, and how he was sacrificed in a battle of which they knew nothing and cared less.

Let us think of the young men who were as quickly forgotten as they were killed.

And let us think of the soldiers who came home in pain or blindness or with missing limbs and who led lives of enduring loss and despair."

Yeah.


DWM
"It is when we try to grapple with another man's intimate need that we perceive how incomprehensible, wavering, and misty are the beings that share with us the sight of the stars and the warmth of the sun." -- Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim(1899?)
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Re: I liked this sermon

Postby JRosemary » 25 Feb 2009, 13:02

From the sermon:

On Bosworth Field on August 22, 1485 we know that a man died, a king died, and a lineage died. Now, 512 years later, we know that on that day there was also a birth, the birth of a myth that blotted out the real living man and substituted an impostor, a caricature of what was real. Richard III was deprived not only of his life and his kingdom but also of his humanity, of that body of deeds, good and bad, that made him a living person.



Beautiful sermon from someone who is obviously a die-hard believer in the innocence of Richard III (even if he merely points out that Richard's crimes are seriously in dispute, rather than attempting to prove his innocence.) I agree--in fact, I've belonged to the American branch of The Richard III Society on and off.

The sermon spends a deal of time comparing what we know of the real Richard to Shakespeare's representation of Richard. But as Harold Bloom points out in an essay on Richard III, when history goes up against Shakespeare, Shakespeare wins.

For the longest time I resisted reading or watching Richard III in much the same way I resisted reading or watching The Merchant of Venice--I didn't want to risk disliking Shakespeare because of his ill-treatment of Richard or Jews. But I saw a production that combined the three Henry VI plays...and the young man who played Richard was so captivating that I changed my mind and picked up a copy of what some diehards refer to as that play. After reading it, it occurred to me that if someone was going to spread Tudor propoganda to malign me after I'd died--well, that someone might as well be Shakespeare!

I'm a fan of the play Richard III now. But one of the uses of the play is to get people thinking about the real Richard. In fact, I think the play should always be presented with an article in the playbill that explains the evidence regarding the real Richard's character and exams the evidence of the crimes the Tudors charged him with. Josephine Tey's excellent book, The Daughter of Time, has its drawbacks, but it does accurately point out that the conquering Tudor king, Henry VII, arguably gained much more by the death of Richard's nephews.

Richard deserves to have the evidence against him re-examined. He was maligned and disgraced after his death and without the benefit of a trial...we owe it to him, a fellow human being, to take a hard look at the charges against him.
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