RicThrough the comparison of different texts, the audience gains deeper understanding of a composer’s contextual values. Shakespeare’s historical tragedy ‘King Richard III’ reflects a theocentric world view of Elizabethan England. This melodrama has been reshaped by Pacino’s 1996 doco-drama Looking for Richard exploring the relevance of Elizabethan beliefs after the influence of postmodern ethics on humanitarian ideas. Both Shakespeare and Pacino utilize the dominant media of their time to portray similar, which establish connections between the two texts.
Pacino’s purpose of making the original text accessible to the modern audience highlights how the values of each text correspond. Irrespective of differences in context, both texts epitomize the universality and timelessness of the human condition and its tendency towards evil and how a change to secular views allows us to challenge society’s norms, emphasising contrasting concerns that resonate with different audiences.
Shakespeare’s texts King Richard III explores humanities susceptibility to temptations of evil and how the lust for power and authority can lead to the degradation of the soul. The reflection of context within the texts is paramount as it enables individuals to shape a rich understanding of how Pacino’s docu-drama is able to re-iterate and adopt ideas presented in Shakespeare’s play.
In King Richard III the obsessive desire for power is highlighted through the rhetoric questioning of the permanence of power “shall we wear these glories for a day? ” to serve as the central motivation for Richard and catalyst for the social chaos and downfall of the York’s. His inner turmoil compounds in his self-destructive nature where Richard uses trickery in order to achieve his evil motives and endeavours to usurp the throne is emphasised through the internal conflict that Richard faces.
Shakespeare further consolidates this notion of evil by accentuating Richard’s physical deformity conveyed through the opening soliloquy “descant on my own deformity … I am determined to prove a villain. ” The reflective tone and bestial imagery through repetitive reference to the “boar” and through the listing “deformed, unfinished, sent before my time” further consolidates the fact that Richard is aware of his physical monster, which symbolically resonates with his internal evil persona.