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Comparison Of King Richard Iii And Looking For Richard

911 words - 4 pages

Connection between texts shapes your understanding of context and valuesExaminations of Shakespeare's play 'King Richard III' and Pacino's docu-drama 'Looking for Richard' reveals relationships between the texts and their respective audience. The fifteenth century and twentieth century contexts demonstrates the values of each text and enables understanding of how the film enriches the ideas presented in the play. 'King Richard III' portrays a hateful, corrupted Richard exploring divine justice and the notion of appearance versus reality in the context of the Elizabethan era. With a time difference of four centuries 'Looking for Richard' reflects the Pacino's quest to understand a Shakespearean text through a personal examination of the same character. This docu-drama reflects the postmodern era's absence of divine order and the change of conscience. Through the comparative study of these texts our understanding of different contexts and values are illuminated.Shakespeare portrays Richard's deception through his soliloquies and asides, revealing his multifaceted nature. Richard is shown to use intelligent word play, irony and stichomythia; he is ultimately cast as the Machiavellian character "determined to play a villain". Richard blames his appearance for his immoral acts "deformed, unfinished, sent before my time" and uses it to fulfill his hunger for power. Richard's duplicity is emphasized when Clarence is sent to the tower. Any sympathy elicited from the audience is undermined by the thick irony in the dialogue. Richard appears to have no idea what is going on and innocently asks "Brother, good day. What means this armed guard/ That waits upon your grace?" Richard then tries to act like the loving brother "Brother farewell… this deep disgrace/ Touches me deeper than you can imagine". The Elizabethan audience is reassured that divine order will be restored and retribution will be reaped, Richard will be punished for his deceptive act. 'Looking for Richard' reflects the values of its society as Pacino attempts make Shakespeare accessible to a twentieth century audience. The film begins and ends with an intertextual extract from 'The Tempest' justifying the ambiguity of the twentieth century "…this insubstantial pageant…such stuff that dreams are made on..." reinforcing that life cannot provide us with stability in the search for the truth and morality as it is endless, unlike the Elizabethan era. Pacino's portrayal of Richard shows his ability to deceive those who trust him "he's in good shape. He can move around. He can maneuver". He plays the villain, loving brother, resistant king and desperate lover with skill. The fluid editing between rehearsal scenes, the staged performances and the actors' heated discussions reveal Richard's ability to construct the truth. Richard's punishment is not God's divine retribution as he is haunted by his conscience. The final scene...

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