The Daily Rambling Artist: But What Does It Signify? Unearthing the Varying Volumes of King Richard III

The Daily Rambling Artist: But What Does It Signify? Unearthing the Varying Volumes of King Richard III

During my undergraduate years, one of the degrees I pursued was in Literature. One professor moonlighted as a professional actor. Despite his theatrical background, most of his classes had a tendency to lull me into a state of drowsiness. There were, however, rare moments that woke me up from my academic stupor.

One such instance occurred during our study of Richard III. We reached the climactic final scene where King Richard, stripped of power and desperate to escape, famously cries out, "A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!" Amidst the lecture, a young lady in the front row raised her hand and asked the professor about the symbolic meaning of the horse in the play. "What does it signify?" she inquired, innocently seeking enlightenment.

In that moment, a change came over the professor. It was as if someone yelled, “Action!” and I was instantly wide awake. I could sense that something intriguing was about to unfold, though I didn't know what. His delivery became grandiose and captivating—I was fully engaged, entranced by this unexpected twist.

He began his response with a deliberate, slow cadence, building up to a climactic revelation. "If you were to interrupt King Richard in the midst of his turmoil and ask him, 'King Richard, what does the horse signify?' He would fix his gaze upon you and roar, ‘SIGNIFY!!!??????!!!'" He roared the word, “signify.” My attempt to convey the intensity and sheer volume with which he emphasized the word "signify" through emphasis and punctuation falls short of how hard his words shook the campus.

Looking back, it's ironic that this singular, comical episode is what remains etched in my memory from that professors' lectures. It was a moment of unexpected hilarity amidst what I felt was a sea of academic solemnity. If only I had thought to ask deliberately absurd questions, creating uproarious memories that would reverberate with thunderous laughter. Instead, the echoes of mirthful possibilities are but faint whispers of what could have been in the halls of my academic journey. Oh, the rue!

-Sergio Santos