The remains of King Richard III have been identified.
He was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485 and his bones have been found and identified in a dig under a Leicester carpark.
|Battle of Bosworth Field|
Isn't it amazing that the location of his body, and the skeletal remains have only now been discovered -- 527 years after he died?
The skeleton proves that Richard did in fact have a hunched back.
But it also shows that his arm was not withered, as it has been believed.
There are all kinds of new details about the body that are being discussed, like the fact that the body shows so many wounds, including "humiliation wounds" that he would have suffered before he died.
It will take some time for a full forensic study of the remains, and I can't wait to learn what their conclusions are in the coming weeks and months.
I have been following this story since they discovered the bones last year, and it is truly fascinating and exciting.
Not long ago, I wrote about Richard III and Shakespeare. I asked asked a question: what if everything we know about Shakespeare is wrong?
There is so much we don't know about him. We are only now learning the true story behind Richard III's death. Perhaps we don't know the true story about William Shakespeare's life.
I think one reason why we don't truly understand Shakespeare is because we focus on what he wrote as opposed to why he wrote it -- and therefore we should study not just the plays and the poems but the historical context in which he wrote them.
For example, did you know that Shakespeare had a brother named Gilbert, and another brother named Richard?
Did you know that Gilbert was buried 411 years ago yesterday, on 3 February 1612?
And did you know that Richard was buried 410 years ago today, on 4 February 1613?
Imagine that, Shakespeare buried two of his brothers one year and one day apart.
Shakespeare was in the last years of his own life, and would die in 1616. By 1612-3 he was no longer a playwright, and had retired to Stratford.
These must have been sad days for him, saying goodbye to the stage that had been more of a home to him than his house in Stratford.
But then he loses two brothers. That is too sad, unbearably sad.
We should and we do celebrate his writing, but if we are to truly celebrate Shakespeare then we must look at his life and walk a mile or more in his shoes.
And I don't know about you, but I find it rather poetic that the news of Richard III's grave findings should fall on the anniversary of the days when Shakespeare laid his brothers Gilbert and Richard in their graves.
When I started this blog, I wrote about some other discoveries (like the man who found hidden images in DaVinci's Mona Lisa for the first time in 500 years) and I made the case that we live in a period of history in which many great discoveries will be made.
I made some discoveries about Shakespeare's plays. I wrote versions of Hamlet, Richard III and The Merchant of Venice to prove them. These versions of the plays are unlike anything you have ever known.
I think all too often we believe that the age of discovery and exploration is over, and done with, and that all of the greatest discoveries are discovered.
But when something like this happens, when we finally find the remains of King Richard III, it makes me believe even stronger that we will discover even greater treasures in the future.
Richard III Was Shakespeare's Revenge
Playing Richard III For Laughs?
Shakespeare and Henry VII and Henry VIII
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