King Richard III and Looking for Richard

Topics: Richard III, Al Pacino, William Shakespeare Pages: 3 (1114 words) Published: April 22, 2015
‘Time does not alter core human aspirations but the context helps us to understand the significance of those values and ideas at that time to those people.’ How is this concept explored by the composers of your prescribed texts? The exploration of William Shakespeare’s play ‘King Richard III’ and Al Pacino’s film ‘Looking For Richard’ reveals the explicit relations between the two texts and how core human aspirations and values transcend in time. While Shakespeare utilised a range of techniques such as emotive language and symbolism to express his ideas about societal values; Pacino employed costume, cinematic techniques and interviews to exemplify themes such as power, human frailty and ambition in his doco/film. By doing so, Pacino is able to ‘reach out to a modern audience’ and explain that the values explored in Shakespeare’s play still coincide with the values we hold today.

One of Shakespeare’s fundamental themes is the pursuit of power, shown through the manipulation and deceit that characterises Richard on his ruthless quest to gain The Throne. Shakespeare represents Richard’s duplicity through his soliloquies and asides, as they reveal his multifaceted and deceptive nature. In the opening soliloquy Richard speaks of his deformed physical appearance, he ‘cannot prove a lover’ therefore he is ‘determined to prove a villain.’ Richard uses his physical appearance to justify the immoral acts he commits. Richard eliminates those who stand before him in line for the throne, by vigilantly plotting their deaths. Richard’s ambition and determination to obtain power causes him to abstain from all human morals, embracing the Machiavellian principle. Richard organises for his own brother, Clarence, to be murdered ‘ Go tread the path that thou shalt ne’er return,’ whilst seeming to be unaware of the cause of Clarence’s arrests “Brother, good day. What means this armed guard that waits upon your grace?” Clarence claims that their older brother, King Edward has...
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