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Shakespeare, Loncraine, Donaldson, Richard, and Me Essay

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Shakespeare, Loncraine, Donaldson, Richard, and Me


Act 2.4 of Loncraine’s Richard III is where I started furiously scribbling notes in the margins of notes. After Rivers is shockingly murdered, Loncraine films a still shot of the countryside. A farmer leads an ox in the foreground, while a train noisily passes in the background. There is a quick cut to the train, smoke billowing from its engines, entering a dark tunnel and then another cut to a toy train in the palace. The young Yorks are playing with the toy train and also a gray airplane. Queen Elizabeth and her mother-in-law, the Duchess of York, chat nearby. Their discussion is light. The Duchess expresses her desire to see the Prince, as she has heard he has grown. Margaret plays the piano in the background and the whistle of the toy train continues. Lord Stanley and Richmond enter, harboring grave news. Suddenly there are a series of short cuts between the faces of the Duchess, the Queen, Stanley and Richard as the news is revealed. Rivers has been murdered. At this moment, there is silence. Then the toy train begins to make noise again. Elizabeth says "I see the ruin of my family" and then another cut to the boys playing with their toy train and airplane. In the shadow of the hallway, Richard’s accomplice, Tyrrell, derails the toy train with his foot, smirking at young York. The toy train noise smoothly becomes a real train whistle. And lastly, the scene is framed with the image of the real train, on which the Prince is a passenger.

After watching this is the scene of Loncraine’s film, I hit the pause button triumphantly. I positioned my text of Richard III and Donaldson’s essay "Cinema and the Kingdom of Death: Loncraine’s Richard III adjacent to each other and ea...


... middle of paper ...


...ces an extensive dialogue within the text with an image of the train, arousing a modern anxiety of doom: the destructive capabilities of rapidly growing technology are seizing an innocent and aweless existence.

Before reading Peter S. Donaldson’s article, "Cinema and the Kingdom of Death: Loncraine’s Richard III," I slept eight hours, ate a well-balanced breakfast, and ran a mile to warm up. I knew from reading "In Fair Verona," that Donaldson writes for fit athletes of an intense analytical and intellectual field. Focus, pacing, and especially composure are essential to navigating his intricate and challenging course of connections, allusions, Shakespeare, media, history, past, present, future and beyond. I was prepared, though, and began slowly, but confidently, on another one of Donaldson’s awesome paths. And this time, I just may have created some of my own.


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