Mod A - FINAL - Raymond Tan Comparing texts allows us to...

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Raymond Tan Comparing texts allows us to recognise the impact of cultural and social zeitgeists on their exploration of intrinsic human values, enriching our understanding of the values themselves. Shakespeare’s tragedy King Richard III , (RIII), embodies this notion and examines the devaluing of women as well as humanity’s innate evil in his characterisation of the Machiavellian Richard, reflecting the patriarchal and religious morals of his context. However, driven by a personal desire to understand Shakespeare, Pacino’s Looking for Richard , (LFR), bridges the cultural and linguistic disparities between the Elizabethan era and the secular modern context by reshaping Richard’s character to the contemporary values of politics and Determinism. The joint exploration of humanity’s evil enhances our understanding of the text and their contexts. Influenced by the political tension following the War of the Roses, Shakespeare’s RIII vilifies the Yorkist Richard, established through his aside “Like the formal Vice… I moralise two meanings in one word,” alluding to the Vice characters of morality plays who allegorically symbolise evil. Richard’s duplicitous nature is reinforced through his oratorical power, illustrated through the double meaning of the symbolic recurring pun, “…s py my shadow in the sun” hinting at his shadow over the “son” of England, revealing his deliberate disruption in the divine right of the hierarchy and subsequently God’s will. However, due to the modern disconnection from Shakespeare’s historio-religious context and language, Pacino blends Richard’s evil with that of a contemporary stereotypical villain, evident through filmic techniques such as dissonant

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