Laurence Olivier Cranks Up the Drama of Literature's Greatest Seduction Scene

The pickup artists in Neil Strauss's The Game aren't a patch on Shakespeare's Richard III. In the play's second scene, which takes place at the funeral of a man he murdered, Richard seduces the widow of a man he helped murder.

The scene begins with Lady Anne following her father-in-law Henry VI's funeral procession. She tells the pallbearers to set down the corpse so she can mourn this saintly king, but her laments soon turn into violent curses for Henry's murderer, Richard Gloucester, who with his brothers also killed Anne's husband Edward. When Anne finishes cursing Richard—for the moment—she tells the pallbearers to pick up the coffin. Richard appears and orders them to set it down. As the corpse's wounds bleed afresh—a victim's wounds were thought to do this near his murderer—Anne rages at Richard, calling him a "fiend," a "devil," and a "minister of hell."

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