III - A Play for our Time
"I am determined to prove a villain"
Guilty or not guilty - that is the question
Though Richard only reigned for a short time, he is a well known monarch. One reason therefore is that he is held largely responsible for the murders of his nephews Edward V and Richard .But he is just supposed to be responsible so nobody has managed to prove his guilt, although many historians and non-historians debated the question whether Richard III was responsible for the murders. This question started to get a new explosive effect when in 1933 two men - the historian Lawrence Tanner an the professor of anatomy William Wright - discovered bones which were supposed to be the bones of Richard III´s nephews. In the same year the findings were analyzed, and as a result Tanner and Wright declared the bones to be those of the princes. This result was delivered in a report called "Recent Investigations regarding the Fate of the Princes in the Tower" published in the journal "Archaelogia". But the findings of Tanner and Wright were controversial.
In recent years books were published which deal with Richard's response. One example of these is "The Princes in the Tower " (1977), written by the novelist Elizabeth Jenkins. Her work judges Richard III guilty. Another example is the book of the historian A.J. Pollard, who preferred a more judicious, less sensational approach, which gives a history of the myths surrounding the deaths of the princes. His book "Richard III and the Princes in the tower" makes clear that a definitive conclusion about Richard's guilt is impossible.
Another very popular person taking part in the discussion is the journalist Alison Weir who wrote "The Princes in the Tower" which was deemed a popular enough subject to be selected by the Book of the Month Club and the History Book Club. Again, Weir finds Richard guilty.
And finally there were TV-trials created by the London Weekend Television and broadcasted on Nov. 4, 1984. A four-hour courtroom trial by jury and TV audience was held to decide whether Richard was guilty of murdering his nephews. The jury found Richard III not guilty.
These are just a few famous and popular opinions about the question of Richard's guilt. There are so many more opinions that people do not manage to reach an agreement.
The only fact that cannot be questioned is that nobody can claim the
defined truth in this question.
|HOMEPAGE||Shakespeare's 'Richard III'|
|PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACH||Richard III and women|
|Richard III the multi-faced villain|
|Physical and psychological deformity|
|Richard's family background|
|HISTORICAL APPROACH||Richard III in the mirror of centuries|
|Justification of Tudor dynasty?|
|History in Shakespeare's Richard III|
|Guilty or not guilty?|
|POLITICAL APPROACH||Richard III - a modern dictator?|
|Richard III the Machiavellian villain?|
by Team 26314 of Marienschule Opladen, Germany