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Awesome / Richard III

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  • Richard III's wooing of Lady Anne.
  • Queen Elizabeth (the ancestor of the most well known one) gets one when in Act IV, she gives Richard a massive "The Reason You Suck" Speech when he tries to get her to help him woo her daughter. She not only reminds him of all his crimes against her family, but every time he tries to swear his love by something, she tears apart how he no longer has a right to swear by those things (including Saint George, God, his father's death, himself, and the future). And then, after feigning that she's given in to get away from him, she gives Richmond her blessing to marry her daughter.
  • Seeing the villain get their comeuppance is usually an extremely satisfying affair:
    • In one production of Richard III, the ghosts of all the characters Richard killed wrap him up in sheets, keeping him from escaping, allowing Richmond to climb to the top of the set, level a goddamn revolver at Richard, and make a perfect headshot.
    • In the 2014 production starring Martin Freeman, Richard's dream of his dead enemies is spliced into the final scenes, so that Richard ends up fighting and killing the ghosts of Clarence, Rivers, and Hastings (with the implication that they are regular soldiers he is projecting their image onto), leaving the stage strewn with the bodies of the dead from throughout the play before he is confronted and killed by Richmond (who shoots him in the head as Richard charges at him with a knife). Awesome.
  • "Now is the winter of our discontent." Just... that entire speech.

1995 film

  • Among all the CMoAs Shakespeare gave Magnificent Bastard Richard III, the 1995 film that transplants the story to the 1930s gives him a whole new one right in its first scene: he rams right into the mansion that King Henry is using as a base with a goddamn TANK, jumps out wearing a gas mask that makes his breathing sound like Darth Vader, and shoots Henry right in the head, with the title popping onscreen at the same instant.
    • Which, by the way, wasn't just invented. In the play Richard actually did kill Henry and Henry's son, though you could almost miss that (or be seriously confused) just hearing the dialogue (in reality, Henry was probably quietly executed on the orders of Richard's brother Edward not long after his son died in the confusion after the battle of Tewksbury).
  • Richard in the final battle mans a machine gun turret single handedly (literally).
    • In a Meta-example, they got the infamous "My kingdom for a horse" line to make sense in a more modernized setting; by having Richard's jeep get stuck in a muddy ditch that a horse could have easily covered.
  • Richard's Dying Moment of Awesome, falling to his death, grinning, as "Sitting on Top of the World" plays.
  • The Dutchess of York gives a powerful and vitriolic "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Richard himself, now king. It gets even better when she gets away with it, and when you realize that Professor McGonagall just told off Gandalf.

1955 film

  • Laurence Olivier has his own: as if Richard's meticulous false show of humility to get the public behind the idea of him becoming king wasn't good enough, in this film he follows it by sliding down a bell pull like a fireman's pole, and making Buckingham kneel and kiss his hand with an incredible music swell.


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