analytical Essay
1188 words
1188 words

Pacino’s 1996 docudrama Looking for Richard reshapes and deconstructs Shakespeare’s illustration of the Machiavellian Richard’s rampant in illegitimately pursuing monarchical authority in Richard III and his consequent defiance of divinely sanctioned principles of retribution in the heavily Protestant Elizabethan era. Whilst paralleling the moral notions of the punishment of sin and the corrupting nature of power, Pacino undermines the monopolizing ascendency of British literary culture and highlights the diminishing piety of 1990s America. In flaunting his post-structuralist creative license, Pacino interprets Shakespeare’s historical tragedy into a hybrid text that combines both performance and analysis, which explicates the linguistic and theatrical complexities of Shakespeare’s text to a postmodern audience. Through hindsight Pacino reshapes the Shakespearean discourse of Richard’s duplicitous ploys for royal power into an individualistic quest to alleviate cultural ignorance.

In King Richard III Shakespeare presents the timeless notion of the inevitable connection between the moral rectitude of the political power and the condition of the State by illustrating the tragic consequences of Richard’s fraudulent pursuits for power. Set in the Elizabethan era following the Yorks’ victory in the War of the Roses, the 16thC doctrine of royal absolutism is epitomized by Buckingham’s hyperbolic extolment “the supreme seat, the throne majestical”. Through this, Shakespeare illustrates a hierarchical society that strictly upholds canons of the Divine Right of Kings and the Great Chain of Being. However, through the diabolic imaging of Richard as “a tyrannous villain”, the play reflects the politically correct endorsements of the Tudor ...

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...d individualistic form. Furthermore, the timelessness of the punishment of immorality is portrayed through the crescendo of a requiem and a diminishing long shot that accentuate the stark reality of Richard’s pitiable demise. Thus Looking for Richard allows us to discern the contrastingly sacrilegious nature of the contemporary world whilst inducing us to reassess our own spirituality and the inevitable consequences of sin.

Through this comparison of the context of King Richard lll to contemporary culture, Pacino emphasizes the shift in attitudes regarding social classes and religion. The analytic docudrama reaches out to the postmodern audience with a fresh perspective on timeless notions regarding the corruption of power and the punishment of sin is presented by Shakespeare, allowing the audience to draw connections between and reassess the meaning of both texts.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how pacino's 1996 docudrama looking for richard reshapes and deconstructs shakespeare’s illustration of the machiavellian richard
  • Analyzes how shakespeare portrays the inevitable connection between moral rectitude of the political power and the state by illustrating the tragic consequences of richard's fraudulent pursuits for power.
  • Analyzes how pacino subtly undermines the ascendency of british high culture while highlighting the merging of social boundaries. the film recontextualises richard's deceptive reign, encouraging the audience to re-evaluate contemporary ideals of power.
  • Analyzes how king richard iii portrays the devout protestantism of the elizabethan era, raising the universal notion of historical deterministic and divine retribution that were inevitably intertwined with 16thc religious paradigms.
  • Analyzes how pacino's looking for richard highlights the dwindling prominence of religion and superstition in a contemporary world.
  • Analyzes how pacino's analytic docudrama reaches out to the postmodern audience with a fresh perspective on timeless notions regarding the corruption of power and the punishment of sin.
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