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Now is the winter of our discontent.mpg

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Published on Mar 31, 2012

In this remarkable soliloquy we are enticed by Richard III, played by Laurence Olivier in 1955.

He begins by observing that the rest of the world is happy and rejoicing over the coronation of the new king, who is celebrating in his bed chamber with a beautiful woman. Richard was born deformed, felt rejected and unloved his whole life for his ugliness, and does not even hope that he will ever find love or tenderness as he imagines the King is enjoying. Rejected and unlovable, all he has to cling to is the control he can assert over other people, especially the manipulation of people who are supposedly more powerful than he. He has abandoned any hope for love or warmth, and has replaced those yearnings with domination as what he longs for; in other words, he is immersed in the dynamics of narcissism and sadomasochism.

Rounding out the profile of a narcissistic sadist -- even approaching the sociopath -- he explains how at one moment he can commit cold-blooded murder in his pursuit of the ultimate power, the crown, but then acknowledges how he can then feign emotional vulnerability should the situation call for it. He comports himself publicly in a manner calculated to maintain control over the impressions he gives socially, which we think of as False Self functioning.

He also personifies what might be called "ruthlessness", in his almost total disregard for the rights or well-being of anyone else, and his imperviounesss to their emotions. For instance, he recently murdered Edward, Prince of Wales, whom he recognized as an obstacle to his (Richard's) attainment of the crown. Now he plans to marry the Lady Anne, the widow left by his murder of Edward.

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