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Magnificent Bastard / Theatre

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  • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying: J. Pierrepont Finch is a window-washer who gets a mailroom job at a company by pretending he knows the CEO; gets promoted to head of the mailroom that same day by shmoozing the former head; turns down that promotion knowing that he would be stuck there for years and screws over another employee; gets a job as a junior executive by being so "humble", tricking the CEO into thinking he had been working all night long on a Saturday and that he is an alumnus of the CEO's college; gets his own office and secretary as a result of this; tricks that secretary into seducing his boss whose job he steals; gets appointed Vice President in charge of Advertising by outing the actual VP candidate as a student of the rival of the CEO's alma mater; steals an idea from a fellow employee about a treasure hunt and pitches it; and finally, when the treasure hunt idea fails and he is facing being fired for the disaster it caused, he forces everyone else at the company to help him by suggesting to the Chairman of the Board to fire them all, but reminding them that they are all in a "Brotherhood of Man", and then when The Chairman retires he names Finch his replacement.
  • King Lear: Edmund of Gloucester, the literal bastard son of the Duke of Gloucester, executes a plan to consolidate power and play even his own family as pawns while vowing to make the gods themselves "stand up for bastards." A ruthless but deeply charismatic schemer who plays everyone for his own benefit, Edmund frames his brother for treason and convinces him to flee into exile while manipulating his father into granting him Edgar's legitimate birthright, before exposing Gloucester's sympathy for King Lear and handing him off to the Duke of Cornwall. As the Duke of Gloucester, Edmund schemes for the throne of Britain itself and seduces Lear's own ambitious daughters to further his own power. Even on his deathbed, Edmund finally finds the grace to defy his own bastardly nature and rescinds the order he had previously given to execute Lear and Cordelia—a sentiment which, tragically, is too late.