Kaleidoscopic Armitage: An Actor of Shifting Colors & Patterns


Blogger’s note: I am short on sleep and long on pain (see previous entry) so I hope this all makes sense. At least the colors are pretty. Hope you have a good day/night wherever you are.

I remember being charmed by the vivid and ever-changing colors I discovered inside a simple metal tube as a child. Years later, I found one at the local Woolworth’s and shared it with my students at the School for the Blind. Contrary to popular belief, certain visually impaired individuals can and do have some usable degree of vision.

And those who did were completely captivated by what they saw in that inexpensive kaleidoscope.

kaleidoscope 1

Just to give you a little background on it, the kaleidoscope was invented by a Scotsman named David Brewster back in 1816. He was intrigued by many aspects of the physical sciences, including polarization optics and the properties of light. While looking at some objects at the end of two mirrors, he noticed that patterns and colors were recreated and re-formed into beautiful new arrangements.

To name his new invention, Brewster took several words from Greek: kalos, the Greek word for “beautiful,”  eodos, the word for “form,” and scopeo, the word for “to look at.”


Now, there’s the obvious link to Mr. Armitage I could make here–that he has a beautiful form to look at, which he does, and that I delight in watching it, which I clearly do.

However, I want to go in a different direction (surprise, surprise!)

I would say that Richard Armitage is an actor who brings many shades and colors to his characters; that he, himself, is a complex individual whose personality possesses an extensive color pattern (and far more than simply grey).


He could be described as kaleidoscopic, “of shifting colors and patterns.”  An acting chameleon, Richard Armitage gives us an iron-hard warrior dwarf king, a gentle, painfully shy Yorkshire farmhand, a sternly handsome Victorian mill owner fighting a “foolish passion,” a cerebral, enigmatic, dedicated spy, a smooth, silver-tongued, criminally attractive businessman, a tough, ruthless soldier still capable of compassion, a sweet, sunny-natured, cheeky accountant, a volatile, seductive medieval master at arms hungry for both power and love–so many characters, and each and every one believable.  Each one possesses his own colors and shades as Richard breathes life into them.







Each one looks different, and not just in terms of their haircolor or style, facial hair or lack thereof, or the clothes they wear.  There is something in the way they hold themselves, how they walk, talk, gesture, smile; suble differences, perhaps, but they are there, and they allow us to immerse ourselves in the character and to forget the actor playing the role.

Richard Armitage–a veritable kaleidoscope of talent, beauty and brains.

10 responses »

  1. Kaleidoscopes used to fascinate me as a child, and now I find I return to that fascination with “Richard Armitage–a veritable kaleidoscope of talent, beauty and brains.” Thanks for this, Angie. Despite the pain and lack of sleep, you are making perfect sense.

    • Well, this is good to know. I started on it earlier, faded out a while and then picked it back up. Also got side-tracked with all the lovely images Bing was bringing up for me. Moved from Kaleidoscopes to kaleidoscope-influenced designs and quilt patterns and then into stained glass, both art nouveau and art deco. All that colorful art is good for what ails you, too. 😉 Earlier I forgotGoogle password, created a new one and then forgot it and created another new one. So some things are clearly not clicking for me.

      I just watched a delightful French film from 2007, “Moliere.” Now I am envisioning Richard with flowing locks beneath a plumed hat, high boots, and a gleaming rapier . . . oh, heavens.

  2. I’m so sorry you’re in so much pain Angie.. 😦 But I agree with Leigh, you were making perfect sense as always! I used to have a kaleidoscope as a child too, I was totally enamoured with it, It was a rare thing back in those days in Hungary, so that made me treasure it even more (it was a present from a friend of our family who emigrated to the Netherlands). I think I still have it somewhere in a box!

    • Thanks, Judit. I have seen some beautiful Kaleidoscopes online made of wood and brass–for adults rather than children. 😉 Wouldn’t mind having one of those. Ah, I am going to try to get a little bit of sleep.

  3. When I think of kaleidoscopes it means pain for me. Some of my migraines can have great kaleidoscopes for me with great color. The kaleidoscope of Armitage is rather nice no pain. As for pain get well soon and take it easy so you can heal up right. I broke my ankle in September 2012, and it has yet to stop hurting at times. I did go back to work to soon and I stand and walk all day. We also don’t heal as well when we get older.

    • Oh, dear, well I am glad the image of Mr A did you no harm. 😉 Unfortunately between the Fibromyalgia making everything hurt worse, and the fact I don’t heal rapidly at the best of times, I have felt a bit discouraged today. I think once you break or fracture bone or cartilage it never lets you forget it. I have adhesions on my right side from pleurisy–I had a close call with pneumonia more than a decade ago. I actually fractured my ribs there from coughing too hard. I remember teaching with a pillow clutched to my side. Ended up in the hospital right before Christmas. I was told my bum knee on which I had surgery would never be “normal.” LOL I sound like I am falling apart! Oh, well, at least my sense of humor is still intact. 😉

      • As long as your sense of humor stays well, you can then see the funny side of things even when you don’t feel so well. My husband had knee surgery in June 2011, it still don’t feel all that great, he thinks it was better before the surgery and after he got hurt. Take Care

        • Exactly. Having a sense of humor is a real saving grace through all of life trials and struggles. I was at a point where my knee (which had been injured in a car accident back in college) was simply giving way on me out of the blue. I almost fell down an escalator on a visit home. Underwent extensive PT for six months before the surgery and then another six months afterwards. It did help me in the long run, but I was warned that certain types of physical activities were not recommended and of course, it would never be “normal.” I foresee having to have it replaced at some point down the road.

  4. And your sense of beauty. Love the pictures and the idea of RA as kaliedascope, especially the picture of the colored squares with that stricking photo in the background.

    So sorry you’re feeling poorly and have yet another thing to deal with. But never say “never.” The human body has a marvelous ability to heal itself, if we can only figure out how to facilitate that healing. Traditional, credentialed doctors do not have all the answers, and too often, they prematurely make dire predictions that do not come to pass, and propose solutions that are more harmful than nature’s way. However, as we get older, we must take the time to do the things that promote healing. Richarding is great for the soul, but our bodies do need to move and to sleep. I realize I sound like the pot calling the kettle black at this time of night, nevertheless…Bonne nuit!

    • Beauty is one thing I hope I am never immune to, whoever or however it comes into my life. 😀 I fell asleep at a fairly decent hour for me, and woke up 5-ish. Back to sleep around 7 and slept peacefully for a few hours. The rest did me good. The weather’s having a negative effect but that’s nothing new. Just to have some relief from pain that was making me yelp is a blessing.

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