HPU Professor Publishes Critical Chapter on Shakespeare's 'Richard III'

HIGH POINT, N.C., March 3, 2010 — Dr. Jim Casey, assistant professor of English at High Point University, recently published a chapter, titled “?Richard’s himself again’: The Body of Richard III on Stage and Screen” for McFarland’s “Shakespeare and the Middle Ages: Essays on the Performance and Adaptation of the Plays with Medieval Sources or Settings,” edited by Martha W. Driver and Sid Ray.

Casey’s essay is the first chapter in the critical collection; it analyzes the most important stage and screen depictions of King Richard III from the 1950s to the present, beginning with Laurence Olivier’s incredibly influential performance and ending with the un-hunchbacked villain of Scott Anderson’s 2007 independent film. Using the wooing scene as a moment of important juxtaposition, Casey discusses the myriad interpretations of Richard’s (ahistorical) hunchbacked body, from Tudor propaganda to psychological metaphor.

“I’ve always been fascinated by Richard,” Casey says. “Historically and dramatically, he’s an intriguing character.  We often think of him as a humpbacked murderer, but there is ample evidence that he had no hunchback and that he may have been innocent of the princes’ murder.  Similarly, Richard’s wooing of Anne in the play (literally over the dead body of her father in law) is an audacious act of self-promotion: ?I’ll have her,’ Richard says, ?but I will not keep her long.’ Historically, however, he may have married Anne Neville for love. But because Shakespeare is Shakespeare, most people only know of the monster.”

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in a fun environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students from 50 countries and 44 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report No. 5 among comprehensive universities in the South and No. 1 in its category among up-and-coming schools. Forbes.com ranks HPU in the top 6 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” HPU was included in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Great Colleges to Work For” 2009 listings. The university offers 68 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and seven graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at www.highpoint.edu.

Chris Dudley
Vice President for Administration

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