King Richard

Draft Essay: King Richard III and Looking For Richard - Ambition and Identity

“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.  

By exploring the connections between Shakespeare’s play, King Richard III, and Al Pacino’s film, Looking for Richard, the understanding and interpretation of ambition and identity are trialled by the evolvement of context. Ambition refers to an aim one is attempting to achieve but can also be a desire for achievement typically involving action. Hence it serves as a product or a process.   Both texts explore ambition as a process and its fundamental role in achievement through similar manipulation of the audience however contrast, in the nature of the ambition.   Identity refers to an individual’s distinct personality and involves characteristics unique to each person.   The texts explore ambition as a construct of identity and the evolution of identity consequently revealing that human nature is dynamic.

In both Richard III and Looking for Richard we see the evolution of ambition in both the characters of King Richard and Pacino, and how this ambition changes them as characters (and people). King Richard’s manipulation of the audience makes plausible his ambition for ultimate power.   In the opening soliloquy, he admits his determination ‘to prove a villain’ and from then on, the play follows his self-centred, ambitious journey to usurp the crown.   Shakespeare involves the audience through dramatic technique, which allows Richard’s eloquence to manipulate the audience as he speaks directly to us, sharing his personal ambition and innermost thoughts.   The audience is encouraged to form a direct opinion of Richard as Shakespeare’s use of the soliloquy to open the play allows immediate access to his character. He claims that his physical deformity is responsible for his lack of sexual attraction:...