Looking for Richard

The connections between different texts are determined largely through the context of these texts.   Ideas and values represented are expressed through this context, as well as through features of the medium.   The two texts of Richard III and Looking for Richard explore the connection between texts through the use of these contextual features.

The context of Act 1 Scene 2 in the Shakespeare play, resulted in the scene being presented as Richard attempting to woo Lady Anne as a political measure to assist his plan of becoming King.   This reflected on the context of the period, where the title of king was seen to be a ‘divine appointment’, or a title rightly given by God.   The focus is on Richard’s manipulation as part of his deception to rise up to become king.   However, this differs contextually within Looking for Richard.   Within his scene with Lady Anne, Al Pacino within his method acting technique repeats, “I'll have her.   But I will not keep her long.”   The rearrangement of these lines to be spoken at the beginning of the scene highlight the almost sexual and lustful nature of Richard’s attempt to woo Lady Anne.   In the Shakespearean play, these lines are spoken at the end of the scene, complementing the scheme, which has been set out by Richard.   However, as the idea of a ‘divine’ king is no longer relevant within a modern context, the shifting of these lines to the beginning of the scene highlights the viewpoint of Richard of seeing Anne as a sexual object.   It is in this sense that a similarity is drawn from both contexts, where women are seen unequal to men, albeit to a lesser extent in modern times.   However, Pacino’s decision to remove a focus on Richard’s political plan creates a connection to a modern context.

One of the main features of the film medium within Looking for Richard, which is not present in Shakespeare’s play, is the use of voiceovers between lines of the play, as well as rapid cuts between scenes.   Within his play, Shakespeare uses...