"That foul defacer of God’s handiwork": Bodies in the Hebrew Bible and Richard III — With Dr. Jeffrey R. Wilson
Play • 40 min

If, as we’re told in the Hebrew Bible, "God saw all that He had made, and behold it was very good" (Genesis 1:31), how are we to understand physical imperfection? As "mistakes" by the divine? Manifestations of malfeasance? Or misinterpretations of creation? 

In this episode, Dr. Jeffrey R. Wilson explains the discourses of theology, physiognomy, and monstrosity that influenced Shakespeare’s representation of Richard III’s misshapen body and behavior, as well as the ongoing implications of relating internal essence and external appearance.

Audio Credits:

Richard III, dir. Jane Howell, 1983

Henry VI, Part 3, Arkangel audio, 2005

Richard III, dir. Richard Loncraine, 1995

Hosted by Straus Center Resident Scholar Dr. Shaina Trapedo

Produced by Uri Westrich and Sam Gelman

Outro by Straus Scholar Ayelet Brown

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