Richard Iii and Looking for Richard

1291 words 6 pages
A deeper understanding of ambition and identity emerges from pursuing the connections between King Richard III and Looking for Richard.
Compare how these texts explore ambition and identity.

Ambition; an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honour, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment * Al Pacino’s production as an art-house vanity project * Promotes himself – manipulating the audience through cutaways, specific and timed edits. The medium of film allows for one to manipulate and force audience attention to a specific area, scene. * His honest ‘love’ for William Shakespeare

* Richard III – Ambition for power and the crown (Buckingham, Richard,
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Shakespeare introduced and tampered with the concept of divine justice and the Tudor myth through his production Richard III. Al Pacino’s ‘Looking for Richard’ produced in 1996, is produced within a very different time period with different values and beliefs of the time. The documentary shows the tyrannical leadership style of Kind Richard, with fellow nobles reacting with fear. The camera angles allude to Richard’s feelings of contempt to his subjects. Modern day audiences may not understand the political history regarding the Tudor Myth however implications of Richard’s actions due to power, ambition and identity are themes which transcend and are relevant today.
Ambition however is not only depicted within the texts, but responders must consider the ambition and aims of the authors in producing each text. Shakespeare wrote Richard III to entertain and give possible understanding and interpretation to outsiders of the ___________________ of the royal family. Al Pacino produced his documentary to allow access to Shakespeare, and also to promote himself. Al Pacino’s choice of text also allows for tight control and audience manipulation through sound, cutaways, and edits which would have all been carefully inserted to serve Pacino’s purposes. Shakespeare however did not have these resources available to depict his creation. The lack of stage directions trademark by Shakespeare allows for flexibility and contrasting interpretations.


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