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RSC Attacked for Comparing British Monarch with Saddam Hussein

Jul 18, 2005 | 6:43am EDT

The Royal Shakespeare Company is under fire for portraying historic English monarch King Richard III as former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

The legendary English theatre company are staging the controversial production of the classic play in their upcoming season, in which all 37 of William Shakespeare's plays will be performed.

Although the Elizabethan playwright portrays the king as a power-crazed monster, critics insist the Hussein comparison is going too far.

Dr. Philip Stone of the Richard III Society, which strives to protect the late monarch's reputation despite the fact he's been dead for over 500 years, says, "We have our work cut out for us as it is without going to this extreme.

"The problem is that Saddam Hussein is very much alive and people have very definite ideas about him. Shakespeare's Richard was a nasty piece of work but he was also a lot of fun. A lot of women fell for him in the play.

"I don't think there are many people who have fallen head over heels in love with Saddam."

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