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(temp)Richard the Boar

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 2 months ago

Richard the Boar





Throughout the play of Richard III, Richard is described as and likened to a boar, a reference to his heraldic symbol. Yet this also decribes his inner nature, as an "abortive, rooting hog" - abortive in his deformity, and also abortive in others lives. The rooting could be interpreted as his digging and probing for power, trampling and destroying those in his way as a hog digs for food.






“Messenger: Then certifies your lordship that this night

He dreamt the boar had razed off his helm:

Besides, he says there are two councils kept;

And that may be determined at the one

Which may make you and him to rue at th' other.

Therefore he sends to know your lordship's pleasure,

If you will presently take horse with him

And with all speed post with him toward the north

To shun the danger that his soul divines.”






“Hastings: Go, fellow, go, return unto thy lord;

Bid him not fear the separated council.

His honor and myself are at the one,

And at the other is my good friend Catesby;

Where nothing can proceed that toucheth us

Whereof I shall not have intelligence.

Tell him his fears are shallow, without instance;

And for his dreams, I wonder he's so simple

To trust the mock'ry of unquiet slumbers.

To fly the boar before the boar pursues

Were to incense the boar to follow us,

And make pursuit where he did mean no chase.

Go, bid thy master rise and come to me,

And we will both together to the Tower,

Where he shall see the boar will use us kindly.”





“Hastings: I know they do, and I have well deserved it.

Enter Lord Stanley


Come on, come on! Where is your boar-spear, man?

Fear you the boar, and go so unprovided?”


“Hastings: Woe, woe, for England, not a whit for me!

For I, too fond, might have prevented this.

Stanley did dream the boar did raze our helms;

But I did scorn it and disdain to fly.

Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble,

And started when he looked upon the Tower,

As loath to bear me to the slaughter- house.

O, now I need the priest that spake to me!

I now repent I told the pursuivant,

As too triumphing, how mine enemies

To-day at Pomfret bloodily were butchered,

And I myself secure, in grace and favor.

O Margaret, Margaret, now thy heavy curse

Is lighted on poor Hastings' wretched head!”



Sir Christopher, tell Richmond this from me:

That in the sty of the most deadly boar

My son George Stanley is franked up in hold;

If I revolt, off goes young George's head;

The fear of that holds off my present aid.

So get thee gone; commend me to thy lord.

Withal say that the queen hath heartily consented

He should espouse Elizabeth her daughter.{Ross, note 70]

But tell me, where is princely Richmond now?”



Fellows in arms, and my most loving friends,

Bruised underneath the yoke of tyranny,

Thus far into the bowels of the land

Have we marched on without impediment;

And here receive we from our father Stanley

Lines of fair comfort and encouragement.{Ross, note 72]

The wretched, bloody, and usurping boar,

That spoiled your summer fields and fruitful vines,

Swills your warm blood like wash, and makes his trough

In your embowelled bosoms - this foul swine

Is now even in the center of this isle,

Near to the town of Leicester, as we learn:

From Tamworth thither is but one day's march.

In God's name cheerly on, courageous friends,

To reap the harvest of perpetual peace

By this one bloody trial of sharp war.”



[To Richard]Dream on thy cousins smothered in the Tower.

Let us be lead within thy bosom, Richard,

And weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death!

Thy nephews' souls bid thee despair, and die.

[To Richmond]Sleep, Richmond, sleep in peace and wake in joy.

Good angels guard thee from the boar's annoy!

Live, and beget a happy race of kings!

Edward's unhappy sons do bid thee flourish.”


"Queen Elizabeth: Ay me! I see the ruin of my house! 27 [Ross, note 27}

The tiger now hath seized the gentle hind;

Insulting tyranny begins to jut

Upon the innocent and aweless throne:

Welcome destruction, blood, and massacre!

I see (as in a map) the end of all."


Other Shakespearean Animal Imagery



"Iago calls Othello a “Barbary horse,” an “old black ram,” and also tells Brabanzio that his daughter and Othello are “making the beast with two backs” (I.i.117–118). In Act I, scene iii, Iago tells Roderigo, “Ere I would say I would drown myself for the love of a guinea-hen, I would change my humanity with a baboon” (I.iii.312–313). He then remarks that drowning is for “cats and blind puppies” (I.iii.330–331). Cassio laments that, when drunk, he is “by and by a fool, and presently a beast!” (II.iii.284–285). Othello tells Iago, “Exchange me for a goat / When I shall turn the business of my soul / To such exsufflicate and blowed surmises” (III.iii.184–186). He later says that “[a] horned man’s a monster and a beast” (IV.i.59). Even Emilia, in the final scene, says that she will “play the swan, / And die in music” (V.ii.254–255). Like the repeated references to plants, these references to animals convey a sense that the laws of nature, rather than those of society, are the primary forces governing the characters in this play. When animal references are used with regard to Othello, as they frequently are, they reflect the racism both of characters in the play and of Shakespeare’s contemporary audience. “Barbary horse” is a vulgarity particularly appropriate in the mouth of Iago, but even without having seen Othello, the Jacobean audience would have known from Iago’s metaphor that he meant to connote a savage Moor." -source




"The wild boar became extinct in Great Britain and Ireland by the 17th century, but wild breeding populations have recently returned in some areas, particularly the Weald, following escapes from boar farms." -source

It is possible that Richard III is the last of the wild boar, and he is hunted at the end.

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