Olivier as Richard III

Probably most people who care already know this, but the opening soliloquy (“Now is the winter of our discontent…”) includes material from both Richard III and Henry VI, part 3.

From “Now is the winter of our discontent…” to “…and descant on mine own deformity” is from Richard III. Then begins another soliloquy by Richard (Gloucester) taken from Henry VI, part 3: “Why, love forswore me in my mother’s womb…” interspersing material from both of Shakespeare’s plays, Olivier ending with

I’ll play the orator as well as Nestor,
Deceive more slyly than Ulysses could,
And, like a Sinon, take another Troy.
I can add colours to the chameleon,
Change shapes with Proteus for advantages,
And set the murderous Machiavel to school.
Can I do this, and cannot get a crown?
Tut, were it further off, I’d pluck it down.

Richard, we see, is one determined senator Duke. Still, politics is brutally competitive, and things went badly for him. His body was lost for some time, and only recently found. He still has fans, and plans are being made for a tomb.

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