Deformity, perhaps the one thing that separates “the normal” from those who are seemingly different. Vertigo Theatre’s adaptation of Richard III was truly brilliant as it twisted my seemingly “typical” response to another person’s deformity – trying not to notice one’s physical flaws – into a perspective where one’s slightly grotesque physicality is intriguing and plays a major role in shaping one’s identity, whether that be good or bad. Richard, the titular character, is severely deformed as a result of a twisted spine and as a result, he is unable to find love; therefore, he ultimately decides to play the villain. Haysam Kadri’s portrayal was cunning and disturbing yet intriguing; Richard’s evilness, however, was alluring and manipulating. Deformity, in Richard’s case, shaped how he acted and reacted to society and those close to him; he was treated as an unequal who was lesser of a man, so through the nurturing of society he chose to act upon the innate darkness inside of him; he turned to evil.
Villainy and evil have always attracted me; villains always did what I never could do, it was as if I wanted to be the villain in order to connect with the things I deemed impossible. I know that I would never murder someone but I wish I had the strength that most villains have – the strength that Richard had; he knew what he wanted and did everything to get there, however, in my case I find that I lack strength and confidence. At my core I am benevolent, everything I do is centered upon my kindness yet I am often taken advantage of as I lack the confidence to stand up to those who cross me. Richard, however, is the epitome of strength and is the true representation of the person I truly crave to be; I aspire to be strong and confident in myself.
Villains, specifically Richard – in my opinion – are a necessity to the balance of society; we need someone to blame all of the society’s evil on which typically falls on those with ingenuity. However, the downfall of villains accentuates their continuous thirst for power, thus exemplifying that despite their power in the search for supremacy it has limits. Power can not save one from the darkness that is associated with the desolation of being alone. Richard is soon consumed by his guilt, and as a result, his consciousness fails him – he dies in battle as a result of his solitude.
Richard was a daunting character whose merciless personality destroyed him in the end; he craved the power he thought he deserved. I see myself reflected in Richard as I too desire power, but through Richard III I now know and understand the delicate balance of power that often leads to desolation. In my own life, I wish I could exist with the same moral ambiguity that many villains hone, yet often times enough their search for supremacy leaves them surrounded by no one but themselves.