Richard III & Anne Neville: a love story ?


Love, a word rarely defined and mostly misunderstood because everyone experiences it differently. What one thinks is love, another may think is infatuation and vice versa.

Everybody has felt it at some point, be it for a person, pet or even a non-living object. One who has experienced it would bear William Shakespeare; the greatest advocate of love; witness as he compared love to a drug, it takes over all the senses in person. It intoxicates you to the core of your bones.

For anyone who has been in love, they understand better that the flawless fantasy in fairy tales does not go anywhere beyond the play. Love means embracing the other person’s flaws as if they do not exist.

Well, our love birds are not any different, despite being from the royal families, they too could not escape from cupid, no matter how far they wished to run.

Anne Neville and Richard III are not your everyday fairy tale characters, their story is characterized by various scenes which do not show up in your everyday love story.

Richard III, in the famous play wrights, Shakespeare, play is seen to be comforting Anne who has recently lost her father and husband too. The coffin holding King Henry VI, Anne’s father-in-law, is carried through the streets by a group of pallbearers while Lady Anne follows. After ordering them to stop for her to give her long sad speech, Lady Anne curses her  husband’s and father-in-law’s murderer saying she hopes that she hopes for his future children to be deformed and his wife miserable. She basically is cursing herself in the speech.

Richard walks to her and orders the pallbearers to go away, Anne retorts back and calls him a ‘minister of hell’ and the name calling goes on for a while. She even points out that the corpse is bleeding, it was thought that a murdered man’s wounds bleed out in the presence of the murderer.

Richard continues to make moves on Anne and even gives her a ring, she resists at first but she finally gives in as she is unable to resist Richards’s charm. Richard proceeds by telling her how he plans to take her to bed and lie with her. He goes on to telling Anne that her husband and father-in-law are dead because he is so in love with her. Anne curses Richard and even spits on him, but as the story seems, the goddess of love wasn’t done with this two, at least not yet.

Richard as it would seem, does not give in easily, he goes by commenting of how Anne has beautiful eyes and luscious lips made just for kissing, he likens Anne’s spit on his face to sweet poison. He swears to kill himself if that is what Anne really wants .he finally convinces Anne to wear his ring which she exclaims should not mean she loves him or anything, but I think we know better. With her now at his fingertips, he convinces her to abandon the funeral procession for his bachelors pad. After all this is done, Richard could hardly believe how smooth it was for him to woo Anne, but let’s just say cupid was on his case. Richard is just after winning Anne but has no plans of making her a wife, and as it would proceed further their life is characterized by more drama as it unfolds between the families.

Clearly no road is every smooth, not even in love, in whatever road we choose to tread on, we should always brace ourselves for the unexpected while still at it.