Loncraine's 1995 film of Shakespeare's Richard III play, while considerably altered to fit in with the context of the industrial 1930's timeframe, still retains the values and themes of Shakespeare's Richard III play such as Richard's rampant thirst for power, the familiar good versus evil theme and influence of persuasive language, otherwise known as propaganda. Richard is portrayed as a Hitler figure in the film using similar colours and uniform to the Nazis.
The key distinction between the two texts is the era the contexts were based on. While Shakespeare's original play was set in the 16th century when superstition served a major role in the resolution of the play, Loncraine's film was set in the jazzy, industrial 1930's. The 1930's era was emphasised in the duration of the entire film by using technology such as the telegram, costuming, setting, weaponry and most importantly, the non-diagetic jazz music applied.
In the ballroom the song, "Come with me and be my Love" by Christopher Marlow is used as dramatic irony as Richard admits that he is incapable of courting or loving a woman when he declares in a soliloquy "since I cannot prove a lover, I am determined to prove a villain". This statement is later ironically proved false, as he woos and marries Anne in less than a week after he murders her husband.
Animal imagery is continuously applied throughout the entirety of both the film and play to make Richard seem subhuman. Richard is shown as a despicable, deformed man and is described as a "bottled spider", "poisonous bunch backed toad" and "abortive rooting hog". In particular, the metaphorical animal imagery of the boar is used as the boar was seen as a dangerous animal during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. People from the Shakespearian age would have perceived the boar as vicious and wild. Stanley's dream of Richard snarling at him in the guise of a boar is symbolistic of the danger threatening him because of Richard's greed. The scene with...
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