King Richard Iii / Al Pacino Essay

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‘Connections enrich understanding in the pair of texts studied’. To what extent is this made evident in the pair of texts you have studied? Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of King Richard lll thought to be published in 1591 and Al Pacino’s Looking for Richard released in 1996 are a direct reflection of the contexts in which they were created, “the text is just a means of expressing what is behind the text”. The texts therefore could not be more different, although it is through the connections in the texts that the responder gains a heightened awareness of the values underpinning the text. Shakespeare’s text is a reflection of the theocratic worldview, that God sanctions all sin. The God ordained society is outlined through the form of the morality play, which to an extent becomes didactic to an Elizabethan audience. The play focuses on the influence of God and the concept of conscience and divine justice. This juxtaposes to the more contemporary adaptation that moves away from religious attitudes to a humanist, individualist, postmodern society that shape the contemporary society. Connections in the texts such as the representation of Richard and his pursuit of power, notions of conscience and the use of language are indicative of the values in the respective societies. In Shakespeare’s text, Richard, one of Shakespeare’s most enigmatic and disturbing villains, outlines the consequences of separation from fellowship and God in a providential society. Shakespeare is critical of Richard’s individualistic nature; Richard lll enters ‘solus’ in the opening of the play that denotes his isolation. This concept derives from the end of 3HenryVI, “I am myself alone” and continues throughout The Tragedy of King Richard lll. In the opening soliloquy, he conspirers to the audience, further suggesting his isolation through the use of personal pronouns, “But I…I that am rudely
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