“Texts on their own are interesting, but when you compare them to other texts they become illuminating.” How has your exploration of the connections between King Richard III and Looking for Richard moved you to a heightened appreciation of each text?
William Shakespeare’s, King Richard III, and Al Pacino’s film, Looking for Richard, conversely explores key ideas and values portrayed in both texts. The comparison accentuates the deep similarity of ideas and values, which drive the two texts. Villainy and power in King Richard III highlights the values of moderation and stability of the Renaissance age. Similarly, Al Pacino examines these same ideas to emphasise the values of creativity and artistic integrity. Examining how each composer relies on an exaggerated and heightened characterisation of Richard develops a greater understanding of how changes in context denote changes in values.
Differences in context convey altercations in values forcing Pacino to contextualise his own version of Shakespeare’s King Richard III to accustom it with a modern audience. Pacino’s docudrama ‘Looking for Richard’ idolises Shakespeare’s key values and ideas intertwining them into the film to associate and connect with a modern audience. Pacino examines Shakespeare’s text, deconstructing and expressing the text giving his own personal opinion and teachings of King Richard III. The subtle modifications of the original text allows Pacino to reach out and grab the audience connecting with modern day Shakespeare, allowing them to realise that Shakespeare is still relevant today. This is highlighted when the cast approaches random public figures asking them about Shakespeare, a man replies, “He’s a great export. ” The random selection and interview of an average man draws the audience to realise the Shakespeare is still culturally valued and important because of the contextual change forcing a modification in values. Pacino creatively adjusts his film to resonate with a modern...
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