Saturday, February 03, 2007

Villain, thou know'st no law of God nor man: No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity! (Richard III Act I, Scene ii)

Picture credit: Shakespeare's psychopathic villain, Richard III. Psychopaths show "a callous disregard for the rights of others and a propensity for predatory and violent behaviors. Without remorse, psychopaths charm and exploit others for their own gain. They lack empathy and a sense of responsibility, and they manipulate, lie and con others with no regard for anyone's feelings." [Dr. Robert Hare]

Picture credit: The Two Princes Edward and Richard in the Tower, 1483 by Sir John Everett Millais, 1878
Picture Credit: The Princes in the Tower by James Northcote
Mr. William Shakespeare on the Internet has well-maintained Shakespeare links.
No Fear Shakespeare has Richard III on-line with a modern translation on the right. Sparknotes has analysis of Richard III.
The murder of the two princes is described by the murderer Tyrrel in Act IV scene iii:
The tyrannous and bloody act is done,

The most arch deed of piteous massacre

That ever yet this land was guilty of.

Dighton and Forrest, whom I did suborn

To do this piece of ruthless butchery,

Albeit they were fleshed villains, bloody dogs,

Melted with tenderness and mild compassion,

Wept like two children in their deaths' sad story.

“O thus” quoth Dighton, “lay those gentle babes.”

“Thus, thus,” quoth Forrest, “girdling one another

Within their alabaster innocent arms.

Their lips were four red roses on a stalk,

And in their summer beauty kissed each other.

A book of prayers on their pillow lay,

Which once,” quoth Forrest, “almost changed my mind,

But O, the devil—”There the villain stopped;

When Dighton thus told on: “We smotherèd

The most replenishèd sweet work of nature

That from the prime creation e'er she framed.”

Hence both are gone with conscience and remorse;

They could not speak; and so I left them both

To bear this tidings to the bloody king. [Richard III]


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