In one of Shakespeare’s masterpieces, Richard III, we meet Richard, Duke of Gloucester, an evil hunchback who dreams of becoming king and goes about it by killing his rivals king Henry VI and his son Edward. But Gloucester’s ignominy does not stop here. He both desires – and is morally provoked by – Edward’s widow, Lady Anne, who is an incarnation of beauty and goodness. To kill her is less of a challenge than to corrupt her soul and make her his accomplice. Gloucester, now King Richard III, does so using dialogue as his tool. As an expert sophist, he first turns upside down the dialectics of blame: he draws attention away from his status as the accused by becoming the accuser. He persuades Lady Anne that it is her beauty that led him to kill her husband. The murder is not his fault, but hers. Ergo, his crime is really not a crime but a misfortune. More importantly, Gloucester reveals to Anne the painful truth about himself: as a monstrous hunchback he is a deeply unhappy, suffering man. His life is a curse, a permanent inferno. He wants reciprocity – love, compassion, sacrifice. He longs to be understood and rescued. Touched by his pleas – and by his heart-breaking “frankness” – Anne becomes taken by the idea of saving Richard III. In her superior goodness she even agrees to become his wife. When their marriage is consummated, there is no more dialogue: Gloucester drops Lady Anne in utter contempt.