Printer Friendly

Missing a horse: Richard and White Surrey.

I begin with the Globe Theatre's Facebook page on February 4, 2013, the day of the press release from the University of Leicester announcing the discovery of Richard Ill's body: "Our neighbours Southwark Cathedral have a beautiful stained glass window depicting the death of Richard III. Next time you are on your way to us stop off and have a look." Providing a link to the Cathedral's own website, they "shared" this image, part of Christopher Webb's Shakespeare Window, unveiled in 1954 as a replacement for the war-damaged memorial window, originally installed in 1897: "This is the Cathedral's version of the death of #RichardIII, which is shown in our Shakespeare Window. Come and see it for yourself." (1) A typical online chat followed, by turns banal and witty: "Where's the car park?"; "The cathedral has a lot of interesting and beautiful memorials--worth the trip"; "I thought he was missing a horse when he was slain?" This last comment gives me the starting point for the argument in this essay: the thing everyone knows about Richard III is that when he died he was "missing a horse:"

   5.7 Alarum, excursions. Enter CATESBY
   Catesby: Rescue, my lord of Norfolk! Rescue, rescue!
   The King enacts more wonders than a man,
   Daring an opposite to every danger.
   His horse is slain, and all on foot he fights,
   Seeking for Richmond in the throat of death.
   Rescue, fair lord, or else the day is lost!
   Enter [KING] RICHARD.
   King Richard: A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!
   Catesby: Withdraw, my lord. I'll help you to a horse.
   King Richard: Slave, I have set my life upon a cast,
   And I will stand the hazard of the die.
   I think there be six Richmonds in the field.
   Five have I slain today, instead of him.
   A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse! [Exeunt]. (2)

As Catesby makes clear, however, Richard is not just "missing a horse": he's missing his horse, White Surrey, to whom we are introduced at 5.3.62 in the immediate run-up to the battle ("Saddle white Surrey for the field tomorrow" [5.5.17]), and who continues to hold his place in the events that follow, up to this point, where we learn of his death. In this essay, I want to consider the implications of the fact that Richard's death is so closely associated with this animal. How is the curious fact that we are sympathetic to this notoriously "monstrous" character tied to his relationship to White Surrey?

It may seem an unnecessary question. Surely, since horses were a pervasive feature of everyday life in the society of which Shakespeare's theatre was also a part, we should not be surprised that they make their presence felt in his plays, albeit only in a (necessarily) offstage capacity. But White Surrey is a member of a very elite group of Shakespearian horses: named horses; a fact, as I have argued elsewhere, that demonstrates a significant nexus between the defining values of the action and those of the "worlds" in which their respective plays are embedded, either at the point of writing, or in successive contexts of production. (3) Commissioned in 1952 in the aftermath of World War II, Webb's window is a particularly interesting context of production. It brings together the visual cultures of the stained-glass window, medieval and Renaissance painting, and London's Shakespearian theatrical community, (4) all combined in Webb's own highly personal vision of the possibilities of his medium. (5)

The Richard III image is part of a triplet presenting characters from Shakespeare's plays. Prospero is in the middle; Richard and White Surrey are on the upper right. The window is positioned above a statue of Shakespeare, installed in 1912 as a complementary feature of the original memorial.

While our immediate response to this statue might be to see it as some kind of funerary monument, closer inspection reveals that the niche framing it includes images of Stratford, the Globe Theatre, and Shakespeare's contemporary London. Its subject is thus not so much Shakespeare's death as his life; it is an evocation of Shakespearian creativity. Indeed, commentators have seen a connection between this aspect of the original memorial and Webbs apparent focus on Prospero. According to Brian Walsh,

   Prospero in the center is certainly the most dominant and most
   striking figure of the whole composition. A casual observer might
   at first assume that Prospero is a saint in prayer rather than a
   theatrical magus in the act of conjuration. Shedding the
   Judeo-Christian text and symbolism of the first window, the new one
   flaunts a celebration of Shakespeare's literary imagination. The
   focal point here is Prospero summoning his spirits, and the always
   implicit comparison between this character and the playwright who
   created him cannot be put out of mind entirely. (6)

Walshs analysis reminds us that Webbs window was unveiled the same year as Frank Kermode's Arden edition of The Tempest, with its celebrated but now controversial account of "Art vs. Nature": "The main opposition is between the worlds of Prosperos Art, and Calibans Nature.... Caliban represents (at present we must over-simplify) nature without benefit of nurture; Nature, opposed to an Art which is mans power over the created world and over himself; nature divorced from grace, or the senses without the mind." (7) But such a reading may misrepresent the compositional dynamics of Webb's design. Far more than the upright "humanist" figure of Prospero, there is a distinct affinity between the reclining Shakespeare and the fallen Richard. Indeed, if the portrait of a white warhorse evokes the heroic imagery of Victorian battle painting, (8) Richard and Shakespeare echo the posture of the classical fallen warrior. (9) The complex layered semiotics of this image place it in the immediate aftermath of World War II, and identify it as participant in a process of reflection on the destructive energies which were the occasion of its own production. The unmistakable suggestion of Laurence Olivier--the fringed hair, the impressive nose, both made famous in the film released the following year--links it to what was probably the most important theatrical production of the immediate post-war years, the Richard III which opened the Old Vic in 1944 and toured Europe and Australia from 1945 to 1949. If Olivier's Henry V on film (1944) was celebrated as a heroic image of national resistance, his theatrical Richard was received as a somber retrospect on the evils of war. (10)

As if to draw his spectator's attention to this contemporary context, Webb's Richard is anomalous within the overall design of the window--though perhaps a better term would be anamorphic, the term applied to the famous skull in Holbein's "The Ambassadors," which comes into focus only when viewed from the side. (11) According to the OED, anamorphosis is "a distorted projection or drawing ... so made that when viewed from a particular point, or by reflection from a suitable mirror, it appears regular and properly proportioned; a deformation." (12) In this post-war context, Richard's anamorphism goes deeper than the question of mere physical disability, and it appears to assert itself whatever medium he appears in. Olivier's film, for instance, which went into production also in 1954, was one of the first British films--and the only Shakespeare film--to be made in the pioneering widescreen format VistaVision. Unlike CinemaScope, the process that initiated the vogue for widescreen filmmaking in 1952, VistaVision was not anamorphic in the technical sense, (13) but its superior high-resolution image offered possibilities for widescreen mise-en-scene which Olivier exploited to the full in positioning Richard in an oblique relation to the rest of the scene. (14) Webb's Richard and Surrey--to the right of and above the central Prospero--are similarly positioned in an oblique relation to the compositional center of the window.

Webb may have dispensed with the convention that Richard was himself distorted and deformed (as Olivier did not), but his approach to his subject through the relationship between human and animal is arguably anamorphic in a far more radical critical sense. For a start, it is not simply an illustration of an episode from the play, or a visualization of a character. (15) Unique within the composition as a whole in showing us something the play does not bring on stage, it assembles its account of Richard's death in a way that makes us aware, precisely, both of its "offstageness" and of how extraordinarily complex that offstageness is. His white horse still alive, he is already beginning to sink downwards, a posture which projects him to a point in time past the still-very-much-alive Richard that Shakespeare shows in 5.4 searching for another horse. His crown has already fallen from his now-bare head to the thorn bush to which it was consigned by legend--in contradiction to the play, where Stanley presents it to Richmond, having "plucked [it] off...the dead temples of this bloody wretch" (5.8.5-6). White Surrey seems to be struggling to extricate himself from a thicket both of spears and of the foliage roundel that encloses him in the window itself, rearing defensively against his own coming death and that of his now unseated master (as we shall see, there is a precedent within the play for a horse that anticipates the death of his rider). His posture is echoed in the outline of another horse behind him, evoking the diminishing perspective of a cavalry front line, but also giving spatial form to the temporal pattern of repetition that will shortly begin in Richard's search for his replacement. (16) Richard's body, displayed in front of but against his, evokes loss, not of control but of contact. At every level, the composition emphasizes bodiliness, physical interconnectedness. As such, we might appropriately approach it as a manifestation less of "an Art which is man's power over the created world and over himself," than of a nature in which human and animal are inextricably intertwined.

In 1954, we do not have to look far afield for such a vision of nature. At precisely this time, French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty began to draft a lecture course on the subject, approaching it--evocatively for the present subject--not as "what is in front of us, facing us, but rather, that which carries us!' (17) For Merleau-Ponty, the body is, precisely, an "intertwining." (18) His notion of intercorporeity, (19) often represented in contemporary critical studies as "shared embodiment," has become influential across a wide interdisciplinary field, including linguistics, psychology and sociology, and gender and animal studies. (20) If in 1954 Kermode's high humanist model of "Art vs. Nature" smacks of the Cold War myth of global bipolarity, (21) Merleau-Pontys synthesis of German and French intellectual traditions, his attempt to bring together the ethology of Jakob von Uexkiill, the phenomenologies of Husserl and Heidegger, the existentialisms of Henri Bergson and Jean-Paul Sartre, and the collectivist principles of his own early Marxism, represent the fusion of ecology, politics, and philosophy that underpinned the "varying realities" of postwar Europe. (22)

The notion of shared embodiment provides us with a way of approaching the Shakespearian exploration of offstage space that is so creatively generative of imaginative adaptation, as in Christopher Webb's window: the notion of Umwelt (environment, environing space, surrounding world: "the everyday world in which we live"). (23) Drawing on Husserl and Uexkiill, Heidegger in Being and Time (1927) distinguished Welt ("world") and Umwelt on the basis that, while both humans and animals "inhabit" an Umwelt, in the sense that Umwelt is where everyday habits are unreflexively sustained, only humans have the capacity, and potential, to "dwell" consciously in "world," above all in language. (24) Such an approach results in an account of such inhabiting as "absorbed" or "captivated" behavior ("Captivation is the condition of possibility for the fact that, in accordance with its essence, the animal behaves within an environment but never within a world"). (25) By contrast, Merleau-Ponty insists that it is precisely in the conditions of embodiment within the Umwelt that we have access to "world." Mark Hansen puts it well: referring to the "structural coupling" of Merleau-Ponty's embodied human with its environment, he explains that "The Umwelt is therefore not outside the body, and the body is not other than the Umwelt.... The coupling with an Umwelt is, then, precisely what clarifies the profound correlation of the body and the world." (26) In Merleau-Ponty, the notion of Umwelt "furnishes a view of the world that can be reduced neither to a 'sum of external events' nor to an interior that is not caught up in the world.'" It is a '"living plan' ... a structure with which the organism can regulate its own potentiality, can draw on the 'transtemporal and transspatial element' that lies 'in the very fabric of physical elements.'" (27)

Shakespeare's innovative scenography, his nesting of onstage action in a complex interrelation of offstage worlds, is highly responsive to the subtleties of the Umwelt/wond distinction; or perhaps I should say that the European intellectual environment of which the Umwelt/world distinction is a central conceptual component has been highly responsive to the englobing potentialities of Shakespearian drama. Given what is at stake in the contrast between Heidegger's and Merleau-Ponty's versions of this idea, it is particularly interesting that the Shakespearian exploration of Umwelt appears to work through more or less the same argument, and does so precisely in the way it explores the relationship between human and animal. Before looking at the final act of Richard III, where we meet White Surrey and follow him and Richard to their deaths, I want to look at an episode developed later in Shakespeare's career which demonstrates the creative possibilities unleashed in the earlier play.

The episode in question is 1 Henry IV 2.1-2.4. It presents what is virtually a twenty-four-hour period from the departure of the carriers from the Eastcheap tavern--"Heigh-ho! An't be not four by the day, I'll be hanged. Charles's Wain is over the new chimney, and yet our horse not packed. What, ostler!" (2.1.1-3)--to the robbery on Gadshill, the subsequent return to the tavern, Hal's rehearsal of his later rejection of Falstaff, and the brief concluding exchange with the Sheriff; spliced into it is the development of Hotspur's plans at his castle in Northumberland for rebellion against Hal's father, Henry IV. Bearing in mind Merleau-Ponty's characterization of Umwelt as "the world implied by the movement of the animal," this episode might be described as nothing less than a contest between competing Umwelten for status as "world." (28) (Evocatively, Merleau-Ponty considers the question of "inter-animality either within the species or between two different species, even those that are usually enemies...[where] two Umwelten, two cycles of finality cross each other.") (29)

The episode is timed from four in the morning, when the carriers in the stable begin their fateful day, to two the next morning, when the Sheriff comes to Eastcheap to arrest Falstaff for the robbery: "Good night, my noble lord.... I think it is good morrow, is it not? ... Indeed, my lord, I think it be two o'clock" (2.5.478-80). The precision of these temporal markers is counterpointed by spatial cross-cuts between Eastcheap, Gadshill, Northumberland, and back again to Eastcheap. Both spaces are organized around offstage horses: the offstage workaday horses in Eastcheap/Gadshill are reworked in Northumberland with a strongly contrasting martial ethos; this reworking is then re-replayed by Hal, now back in Eastcheap in an imagined scene set in Northumberland, with a stated intention to re-rework that conversation into a theatrical dialogue with Falstaff--an enactment which does not occur because it is substituted by the climactic theatrical confrontation about Falstaff between "Hal" and "Henry IV." Two contrasting but complementary onstage actions, nested in two contrasting but complementary offstage spaces, are thus renested as "offstage" to an "onstage" play.

The types of movement defining these competing Umwelten are both "implied by the movement" of horses; but the nature of that movement could hardly be more different. In Eastcheap, the offstage horse "carries" the everyday life of the tavern in every sense of the word: within this world, ostler and carrier are complementary and interdependent forms of embodiment. Hal and Poins's goading of Falstaff both exposes and exploits this shared embodiment and the Umwelt it defines: by depriving Falstaff of his horse, they precipitate a crisis within its structural parameters. Here, Falstaff's presence in the theatrical space is the consequence, not of significant onstage action, but of an incapacity to act: he is simply too fat to get himself offstage in order to participate in the robbery. He is "captivated":

Falstaff: The rascal hath removed my horse, and tied him I know not where. If I travel but four foot by the square further afoot, I shall break my wind.... A plague upon you all! Give me my horse, you rogues, give me my horse and be hanged!... What a plague mean ye to colt me thus?

Prince: Thou best: thou art not colted, thou art uncolted.

Falstaff: I prithee, good Prince Hal, help me to my horse, good king's son.

Prince: Out, ye rogue, shall I be your ostler?

Falstaff: Hang thyself in thine own heir-apparent garters! ...

Poins: Sirrah Jack, thy horse stands behind the hedge. When thou needest him, there thou shalt find him (2.2.11-65). (30)

The action is thus already displaying ontic tensions that become fully ontological in the climactic playacting scene. Falstaffs request that Hal should "help me to my horse" stimulates an early version of Hal's later complete rejection of the Eastcheap world--"Out, ye rogue, shall I be your ostler?"--when he finally succeeds in getting Falstaff offstage once and for all: "I banish thee, on pain of death, / ... Not to come near our person by ten mile" (2 Henry IV 5.5.61-63).

Hotspur, like Falstaff, is similar intertwined with an offstage horse, but in a way that is a direct challenge both to Falstaffs limitations and to Hal's aspirations. His sense of how far his horse will carry him makes clear the structural opposition, and thus the scope of the confrontation--Merleau-Ponty's "two cycles of finality"--between his world and Hal's:

Hotspur: Hath Butler brought those horses from the Sheriff?

Servant: One horse, my lord, he brought even now.

Hotspur: What horse? A roan, a crop-ear, is it not?

Servant: It is, my lord.

Hotspur: That roan shall be my throne.


Lady Percy: What is it carries you away?

Hotspur: Why, my horse, my love, my horse.

Lady Percy: Out, you mad-headed ape!


Hotspur: Away,
Away, you trifler! Love? I love thee not,
I care not for thee, Kate. This is no world
To play with mammets and to tilt with lips.
We must have bloody noses and cracked crowns,
And pass them current, too. God's me, my horse!--
What sayst thou, Kate? What wouldst thou have with me?
(2.4.62-65; 69-70; 82-87)

He anticipates the return scene at Eastcheap by explicitly rejecting the concept of "play," so that Hal must set about rejecting him by making him the subject of play in the next scene, first in the imagined conversation, then in the planned but unrealized dialogue with Falstaff. It is an important indication of Hal's englobing aspirations that he reduces Percy's passionate eloquence to mere captivation and that in doing so he dilates the temporality of the earlier dialogue beyond its precisely timed theatrical framework: '"O my sweet Harry,' says she, 'how many hast thou killed to day?' 'Give my roan horse a drench' says he, and answers some fourteen hours after, 'A trifle, a trifle'" (2.5.97-100). His aim is clearly to represent Hotspur's world, as he does that of the drawer Francis, as an Umwelt of the most reduced kind. Francis and Hotspur are "poor in world" (weltarm) in Heidegger's sense--like Uexkull's tick--rather than exemplifications of Merleau-Ponty's "profound correlation between body and world." (31) If we attend to the ontological implications of the interplay between onstage and offstage space on these terms, it begins to become clear--what we perhaps only fully realize in Henry V in his very similar manipulation of Michael Williams--both that Hal's playacting is nothing less than a process of Heideggerian englobing, and that such a conception of theatre is not what Shakespeare himself seems to see as Shakespearian.

It may be that it is in Hotspur--

   Come, let me taste my horse,
   Who is to bear me like a thunderbolt
   Against the bosom of the Prince of Wales:
   Harry to Harry shall, hot horse to horse,
   Meet and ne'er part till one drop down a corpse (4.1.118-22)

--that we see the dramatic legacy of Richard and White Surrey, not least in the shared-embodiedness and openness to death that carry them both into battle. Richard III presents a much simpler version of offstage horse action than the Henry IV plays and Henry V (which I cannot pursue in full here), but it quite literally sets the scene for the kind of opening into the creaturely that Hal/Henry systematically relegates to those he wishes to master. Where in the Henry plays we see a complex counterpoint of times, spaces, and people, all embedded in an offstage population of horses almost too numerous to count, in Richard III this strand of action is compressed into the single relationship between Richard and White Surrey. Here too the struggle to englobe an Umwelt is fatal, as it is for Hotspur. In fact, Richard's Umwelt cannot be stabilized as "world," because he behaves rather than lives, with a style of movement ("bustling" [1.1.152; 5.6.19]) rather than a coherent, or at least fully developed and explicitly articulated, intention. What we will see at the end of the play is that he really only begins to live to the full for a brief, intense moment when he begins to act beyond his aspiration to the English throne. From this perspective, it is appropriate that, even at the earliest stage, a horse is what carries him forward ("but yet I run before my horse to market ..." [1.1.160]), but it is not until he shifts his world from court to battlefield that their relationship fully intertwines. There is one important anticipation of this: the fall of Hastings, anticipated, like Richard's own later death, in the more literal "fall" of his horse:

   Three times to-day my footcloth horse did stumble,
   And startled when he looked upon the Tower,
   As loath to bear me to the slaughterhouse.
   O, now I want the priest that spake to me. (3.4.84-87)

Note the foreshadowing of the patterns of repetition evident both in the placing of White Surrey in offstage space, and in Richard's own eventual fall: "I think there be six Richmonds in the field; / Five have I slain today instead of him" ( But note above all the striking description of an act of animal sympathy, where the offstage horse serves as the perceptual center of the action, not simply as a principle of captivated behavior. Hastings' horse is open to his world in a way his rider is not.

And so we come to White Surrey. There are three explicit references to him across the battle scene: "Fill me a bowl of wine. Give me a watch. / Saddle white Surrey for the field tomorrow" (5.3.61-62); "Come, bustle, bustle! Caparison my horse" (5.6.19); "His horse is slain, and all on foot he fights" (5.7.4). But there is also a fourth, which complicates considerably the already sophisticated presentation of offstage space in this play. (32) After directing Catesby to prepare White Surrey for the battle (5.3.61-62), Richard sleeps. There is then the series of ghostly manifestations from which he wakes and begins to confront his conscience in a way that we might assume to be a direct response to what we have just seen. However, his words make it clear that he was actually in the middle of a completely different dream, a dream of the coming battle, and that his awakening was stimulated not by his own past actions, but by the death of his horse. Note that this death is "offstage" even in the dream, in the same kind of way that Hotspur's horse, offstage in the scene set in his castle, is then "offstage" in Hal's imagined representation of it:

   Give me another horse! bind up my wounds!
   Have mercy, Jesu!--Soft! I did but dream.
   O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me?
   The lights burn blue. It is now dead midnight.
   Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.
   What do I fear? Myself? There's none else by.
   Richard loves Richard; that is, I am I.
   Is there a murderer here? No. Yes, I am.
   Then fly! What, from myself? Great reason. Why?
   Lest I revenge. Myself upon myself?
   Alack, I love myself. Wherefore? For any good
   That I myself have done unto myself?
   O, no, alas, I rather hate myself
   For hateful deeds committed by myself.
   I am a villain, yet I lie; I am not (5.5.131-45).

If the start of this monologue marks the immediate aftermath of the death of the horse, we might infer that what precedes it--the dream itself--is the death itself. I referred to this reference to White Surrey as a fourth among three more simply functional references that place the horse in the action from the beginning of the battle scene to its end. But the fact that this one is situated at a turning point between the unconscious and consciousness gives it a quite different status. As in Hal's re-creation of the dialogue between Hotspur and his wife, it is both a draft script and a rehearsal of an action yet to come. But in situating it in a fold between consciousness and the unconscious, a fold in which the destabilization of Richards Umwelt is marked by a corresponding deep instability in first and third person reference, it releases a dimension not hitherto explored within the play, a spiritual debate that radically changes our interpretation of the momentum of Richard's final actions:

   Fool, of thyself speak well.--Fool, do not flatter.
   My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
   And every tongue brings in a several tale,
   And every tale condemns me for a villain.
   Perjury, perjury, in the high'st degree!
   Murder, stern murder, in the direst degree.
   All several sins, all used in each degree,
   Throng to the bar, crying all, "Guilty! guilty!"
   I shall despair. There is no creature loves me,
   And if I die no soul will pity me.
   Nay, wherefore should they?--Since that I myself
   Find in myself no pity to myself. (5.5.146-57).

Only at this point do we hear of the hauntings: "Methought the souls of all that I had murdered / Came to my tent" (5.5.158-59). This second part of the monologue makes clear the extent to which human/animal interpenetration has become central to the experience being presented here. Paradoxically, this desperate isolation--"no creature loves me ... no soul shall pity me"--is a creaturely, pitiful moment. As the culmination of a speech that imagines itself both as private confession and public appearance in a court of law, it is the starting point for what we might describe as a process of de-creation: a process of self-annihilation which is also the expression of a potentiality which takes Richard beyond the limited repetitions that have structured his Umwelt up to this point.

Originally drawn from the work of Simone Weil, the French anarchist and activist whose passionate asceticism led to death, probably by self-starvation, in England in 1943, the idea of de-creation has been taken up by Giorgio Agaraben within his own rethinking of the Heideggerian ontology of Welt and Umwelt. Where for Weil it signifies the obliteration of the human that must precede its restoration to the order of the divine, "to make something created pass into the uncreated," (33) for Agamben it is a "second creation" in which both the actual (what has happened) and the possible (what could happen but has not) are restored to the order of potentiality. (34) The momentum unleashed in Richard by this dream is not so much an inevitable guilty death or retribution as a redemption from his own behavioral limitations. This redemption is figured in those famous last words--"a horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse"--which encapsulate the apparently paradoxical situation that Richard is prepared to give his kingdom away in order to be able to carry on fighting for it. (35) As Merleau-Ponty puts it, perhaps less charismatically: "the coupling with an Umwelt ... clarifies the profound correlation of the body and the world." Richard achieves this profound correlation in the last moments of his life, and he achieves it offstage, where, as we hear from Catesby, he "enacts more wonders than a man, / Daring an opposite to every danger" (5.7.2-3).

This is why we love him. Unlike Hal/Henry V, who uses people as he uses horses, Richard's life is a creaturely life, and that, not his aspiration to the crown--which finally emerges, perhaps, as a rationalization rather than a cause--is what constitutes his fullness of being. I have argued elsewhere that the role of Richard was definitive in the creation of what we now describe as Shakespearian theatre--at a point, crucially, before Shakespeare and the Chamberlain's Men found a "home," first in the Theatre, then, from 1599 onwards, in the Globe. (36) It is thus appropriate to identify him, as I think Christopher Webb does, as the embodiment of the creative energies that carried Shakespeare's work beyond the mere fifteen or so years of professional life symbolically ended by Prospero in 1611, into the four hundred years that followed. With the help of White Surrey.

University of York


(1) Shakespeare's Globe, status update, Facebook, February 4, 2013, ShakespearesGlobe/posts/592569630756433.

(2) William Shakespeare, Richard III, in The Norton Shakespeare, ed. Stephen Greenblatt, et al. (New York: W. W. Norton, 2016), 5.7.1-13. All references to Shakespeare's plays are taken from this edition.

(3) See Erica Sheen, '"Imaginary Puissance': Shakespearian Theatre and the Law of Agency in Henry V, Twelfth Night and Measure for Measure" Shakespeare Survey 66 (2013): 316-29, for a discussion of White Surrey, Roan Barbary, and Grey Capulet.

(4) Brian Walsh records the involvement of London's theatre community in fundraising for the restoration project: "Patrons of the fund to raise money for the window included the actor John Gielgud and Shakespeare scholar J. Dover Wilson, as the church proprietors cannily gathered both theatrical and academic stars for their cause ... [It] was unveiled on 23 April, 1954 ... by Sybil Thorndike." Brian Walsh, '"Shakespeare in Stained Glass: The Shakespeare Memorials of Southwark Cathedral and 'Local' Bardolatry," Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation 7, no. 1 (2012), I thank Brian Walsh for a discussion of his essay, and helpful information about access to the Southwark Cathedral archives. See below for my own suggestion that the figure of Richard evokes Laurence Olivier in what was in 1954 probably his most celebrated theatrical role.

(5) Webb's compositions often include animal forms inside roundels of interlaced foliage, linking with his early training in medieval and Renaissance painting. For an account of his life and work, and other images, including animal images, see Eileen Roberts, "Christopher Webb and Orchard House Studio," Journal of Stained Glass 25 (2001): 79-94. For a particularly beautiful animal image with compositional similarities to the White Surrey image, see "Cherub Clerk, Cherub Scribe, designed by Christopher Webb," Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Flospital in London, The Stained Glass Museum, ELYGM:1992.10.2,

(6) Walsh, "Shakespeare in Stained Glass."

(7) Frank Kermode "Introduction," in The Tempest, Arden Edition (London: Methuen 1954), xxiv-xxv.

(8) See, for instance, Lady Elizabeth Butler, "Scotland For Ever," 1881, Leeds Art Gallery Online,

(9) See, for instance, the famous figures at the Temple of Aphaia at Aegina. "Fallen warrior from the east pediment," photograph by Brian McMorrow, December 25,2005, PBase,

(10) See, for instance, Commander J. Bennett Nolan's account of a performance to the British Occupation Army in Hamburg: "As the third act rolled its course we felt that the Old Vic was surpassing itself; never had classic lines been rendered with more feeling and intensity. Olivier as Richard, Ralph Richardson as Richmond, Margaret Leighton as the Queen were at their best. Then came the gripping climax. A tense stillness pervaded the hall as Richmond proclaimed: 'God and our Cause fight upon our side.' Those in the martial audience who had fought for six years in the great crusade and had followed the bloody trail which led from Alamein to Berlin nodded approvingly at the aptness of this allusion. They evinced further appreciation as stout Richmond went on to describe his adversary: 'a bloody tyrant and a homicide.'" J. Bennett Nolan, "Shakspere Crosses the Rhine," The Shakespeare Association Bulletin 21, no. 2 (1946): 76-79 (78).

(11) As discussed by Stephen Greenblatt, "At the Table of the Great," in Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), 17-27.

(12) Oxford English Dictionary Online, s.v., "anamorphosis"

(13) First developed by Twentieth Century-Fox in 1952, CinemaScope used an anamorphic lens to "squeeze" the image into the frame during photography, unsqueezing it in projection to create the spectacular length of the widescreen format. VistaVision was launched by Paramount in 1954 in direct competition to CinemaScope, using a horizontal negative to create a widescreen image that was noted for a quality of resolution that compared favourably with the anamorphic image. For the history of widescreen in the early 1950s, see John Belton, Widescreen Cinema (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992).

(14) Olivier favoured VistaVision over CinemaScope, which he considered a gimmick, for precisely this reason; according to Alex Korda, his producer, he was "ecstatic" about the process. Korda-LO, September 10, 1954, BL Films, as quoted in Terry Coleman, Olivier: The Authorised Biography (London: Bloomsbury, 2005), 267.

(15) Walsh provides a summary that makes clear how much this is the case with the other material in the window: "The central pane depicts Prospero, his arms raised, while Ariel, an ethereal streak, whisks above his head and a Neanderthal-like Caliban crouches naked at his feet. The left light shows characters from the comedies, such as Feste in full jester regalia, Bottom with an ass's head, Malvolio in his yellow stockings and crossed garters, as well as, most prominently, Falstaff in the center in a brilliant scarlet doublet. The right pane is reserved for tragic figures: Hamlet broods, skull in hand, while Lady Macbeth lurks nearby." Walsh, "Shakespeare in Stained Glass."

(16) See Butler, "Scotland for Ever."

(17) Maurice Merleau-Ponty, "First Course, The Concept of Nature," in Nature: Course Notes from the College de France, ed. Dominique Seglard, trans. Robert Vallier (2003; repr., Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1956-57), 4, emphasis mine.

(18) See Maurice Merleau-Ponty, "The Intertwining--The Chiasm," in The Visible and the Invisible, trans. Alphonso Lingis (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1968), 130-55.

(19) Ibid., 141.

(20) For an application of the idea to a Renaissance context, see Karen Raber, Animal Bodies, Renaissance Culture (Philadelpia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), 5: "How did early moderns perceive the consequences of shared embodiment?... what kinds of interpenetration of the human and the animal do we tend to overlook?"

(21) For a discussion of the Cold War myth of bipolarity in a Shakespearian context, see Erica Sheen, "Introduction: Conflict, Commemoration, Celebration," 1-8, and Nicole Fayard, "Shakespeare's Theatre of War in 1960s France," 63-74, both in Shakespeare in Cold War Europe: Conflict, Commemoration, Celebration, ed. Erica Sheen and Isabel Karremann (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).

(22) For an account of the "varying realities" of post-war Europe, see Sheen, "Introduction: Conflict, Commemoration, Celebration," 1-8. The phrase is quoted from Annette Vowinkel, Marcus Payk, and Thomas Lindenberger, eds., "European Cold War culture(s): An Introduction," in Cold War Cultures: Perspectives on Eastern and Western European Societies (New York: Berghahn Books, 2012), 1.

(23) Tom Nenon, "Introduction," in Proceedings (43rd Annual General Meeting, Boston College June 2012),, 2.

(24) Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit (Halle a.d.S: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1927).

(25) Martin Heidegger, The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics: World, Finitude, Solitude, trans. William McNeill and Nicholas Walker (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995), 239.

(26) Mark B. N. Hansen, "The Embryology of the (In)visible," in The Cambridge Companion to Merleau-Ponty, ed. Taylor Carman and Mark B. N. Hansen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 252.

(27) Ibid. Hansens citations of Merleau-Ponty are from Merleau-Ponty, Nature: Course Notes from the College de France, 177, 176.

(28) Merleau-Ponty, Nature: Course Notes from the College de France, 173.

(29) Ibid.

(30) Falstaff s predicament might remind us of Uexkiills account of the difference between a sea-urchin and a dog: "when a dog runs, it is the animal that moves its legs; when an urchin moves, it is the feet that move the animal" (as cited by Merleau-Ponty, Nature: Course Notes from the College de France, 169).

(31) Heidegger, The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics, 201-67. For Uexkiills tick, see MerleauPonty, Nature: Course Notes from the College de France, 174-75; see also Giorgio Agamben, The Open: Man and Animal, trans. K. Attell (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004), 45-47, 49-56.

(32) See Erica Sheen, "Welcome to Our Chamber," in Shakespeare and the Institution of Theatre: The Best in this Kind (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), for a discussion of Richard III which addresses aspects of the discussion that follows, including its presentation of offstage scene, and legal sources for ideas about horses, including its "famous last words."

(33) Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace, trans. A. Wills (New York: Putnams, 1952), 78. As Alessia Ricciardi explains: "As she presents it, decreation amounts to abolishing the self so that God can be everything." Alessia Ricciardi, "From Decreation to Bare Life: Weil, Agamben and the Impolitical," Diacritics 39, no. 2 (2009): 75-93 (78).

(34) Giorgio Agamben, Potentialities: Collected Essays in Philosophy, ed. and trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004), 270.

(35) See Sheen, "Welcome to Our Chamber," 70-71, for a detailed account of the legal ideas that help explain this apparently contradictory proposition.

(36) Sheen, Shakespeare and the Institution of Theatre, 17; then chapters 3, 4, and 5.
COPYRIGHT 2016 Comparative Drama
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2016 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:relationship of Richard III and his horse, White Surrey
Author:Sheen, Erica
Publication:Comparative Drama
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 22, 2016
Previous Article:"And do not say 'tis superstition": Shakespeare, Memory, and the Iconography of Death.
Next Article:"A somber passion strengthens her voice": The stage as public platform in British women's suffrage drama.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters