Tag Archives: Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscopic Armitage: An Actor of Shifting Colors & Patterns

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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.

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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.”

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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).

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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.

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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.