King Richard Iii and Looking for Richard

2187 words 9 pages
The texts King Richard III and Looking for Richard both accept the centrality of power and the yearning for it, as a central plot driver and an assumed part of the human condition. However, each presents a different perspective as to the nature of power; its origins and morality.

Discuss this statement with close, detailed reference to both texts set for study.

Power is defined as the possession of control or command over people and events. In Shakespeare’s play ‘King Richard III’, the centrality of power is communicated through characters and their pursuit for power while in ‘Looking for Richard’, Al Pacino’s docudrama exploring Richard as a character, his struggle for power is portrayed as well as Pacino’s struggle as he produces
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The inclusion of Act 2 scene 3, and the sixth and seventh scenes in act 3 portraying the citizen’s unrest and their non-reaction to Richard becoming king shows that the social order governed by God has been disturbed, and is a message to the audience intended by Shakespeare. God is the one who has all power, and chooses to give and take as He sees fit. A citizen refers to Richard when he says ‘Oh, full of danger is the Duke of Gloucester’. The consequences of challenging the established order is highlighted through the restlessness of the common people, their being uncomfortable and silent when Buckingham tries to sway them. Shakespeare is emphasising that until the right man, one appointed by God, is one the throne and the order re-established, the entire nation will be in chaos.

Shakespeare exaggerates Richard’s physical deformities from the beginning of the play, implying that his evil nature is reflected in his body. An Elizabethan audience would have associated the deformities with Richard’s evil nature, and that because he lacks sex appeal and doesn’t want to ‘court an amorous looking glass’, he sets out to prove himself a villain. It would be understood that Richard is trying to compensate for the areas in which he lacks through his pursuit for the throne.

Pacino, in his exploration of Richard as a character, depicts Richard’s deformity as one of Richard’s ‘problems’. The moment where Richard talks about his deformity is

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