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Module a

In: English and Literature

Submitted By davidhuytran
Words 1097
Pages 5
By considering the connections between the texts, we gain an insight into the way values have changed over time. To what extent is this true of the two texts you have studied? (Minimum any 2 scenes, 4 quotes and roughly 1200 words)
It is the relationship between context, text and responder that helps the audience to create meaning from a text. Through Pacino recontextualising Shakespeare’s Richard III, the audience is able to develop a better understanding and newfound appreciation of Shakespeare’s text. By comparing the structure and language of both texts the responder is able to go on their own journey of understanding and interpretation. Pacino builds a bridge that enables us to cross over and understand Shakespeare’s context. Pacino develops our understanding of ‘Richard III’ and helps us to recognize how values can be encoded within a text.
This can be seen through the different values, beliefs and attitudes towards women reflected in Richard III texts in Act 1 scene 2. The wooing of Lady Anne demonstrates the climax of Richard’s role as a villain. The stichomythic language engages the audience which allows us to be seduced by Richard, for example when Lady Anne say, ‘‘o wonderful, when devils tell the truth’ and Richard replies ‘More wonderful, when angels are so angry’. This short declarative verbal exchange creates momentum in the scene resulting in the audience being in a state of anticipation. It reveals the power of language to persuade and Richard is able to capture the audiences’ admiration. Lady Anne’s capacity to verbally play with language implies her surprising intelligence. This may reflect Shakespeare’s passive unacceptance of the gender hierarchal system that existed during the context that he wrote in. Shakespeare foregrounds the dominant religious beliefs and values that exist in his cultural context. This is identified by the Christian discourse throughout the exchange of Richard and Lady Anne, “Devil” and “Angels” allowing the audience to recognize good and evil.
Pacino on the other hand, recontextualises this scene to engage a modern audience in a different cultural context. This is seen when Pacino and Kimball discuss their search for a Lady Anne, ‘finding somebody young who will buy Richard’s rap’. Pacino in his wooing of Anne scene creates sexual tension and utilises low key lighting to create intense shadows that cover the whole frame. Lighting is used to contrast good and evil through darkness and light. Richard is increasingly engulfed within the darkness to represent his evolving identity as a villain implying the progression of the plot is represented. The different forms of the texts are used to engage audiences in different contexts and a change of values is reflected. As we are able to recognize the differences in cultural context we focus in the different values, consider them, apply them to our own lives and, ultimately, learn more about ourselves.
By creating a bridge between both texts, an understanding of how the conventions of the different modes of production allow meaning to be constructed. Richard’s villainous character is presented by both composers as somewhat ambiguous. In Shakespeare’s play, the convention of soliloquy is used “Now is the winter of our discontent/Made glorious summer by his son of York” to instantly engages the audience and create an immediate tone through the use of a time signifier. This is due to the emphasis on ‘Now’, the irregular syntax foreshadows the dramatic tension that is to come. Shakespeare’s clever use of language and the structure of the dramatic exposition draws the audience into Richard’s plot. The limited knowledge of the history behind the play makes it difficult for contemporary audiences to understand the reference to time. The obvious illustration of Richard’s villainy allows Shakespeare to position him immediately at the bottom of the social order and his ‘fall from grace’ thus strongly engages the Elizabethan audiences. Shakespeare presents the dominant ideology of the Great Chain of Being. The self analysis from Richard ''But I am not shaped for sportive tricks" causes the audience to sympathies with Richard. The audience is presented with Richard’s way of thinking. Shakespeare uses Richard to symbolize the Vice character which reflects the Renaissance fascination of what it is to be human. The play reflects the growing tension between secular thought and providentalism which was occurring in Shakespeare’s time.
In contrast, Pacino has a different perspective and purpose. He wants a modern day audience to reconnect with Shakespeare and his language. Pacino uses everyday language and explains his goal from the very beginning, ‘the audience hasn’t done it’. He introduces the historical dimensions of the play to the modem audience. Pacino chooses film as a mode of production in order to employ contemporary visual cultural codes that his audience can understand. The opening scene is presented with Pacino wearing a baseball cap and his back is to the camera. The baseball cap represents the modern era which allows the audience to interact with the text due to a common cultural understanding. The structure of Pacino’s docu-drama cleverly reflects that Shakespeare, persuading us to create our own connections.
The value of conscience is depicted within Richard III and continues to be relevant through every person’s universal understanding of human nature. In Act 1, Scene 3, Richard’s confused and conflicted mind is embodied through the disruption of reasoning, ‘Is there a murderer here? No. Yes, I am. Then fly! What, from myself?’ The emphasis of the truncated sentences establishes the consequences to symbolise an individual who lost their conscience in the pursuit of power. Our sense of pathos shifts us to feel pity towards Richard. When comparing to ‘’Looking for Richard’’, the quick editing is utilised to symbolize Richard’s inner conflict through a montage of distorted images. Richard’s merciless acts of evil cause the downfall of his mental state as a result of a ‘cowardly conscience’, which highlights justice to the Great Chain of Being within Shakespeare’s context. ‘A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse represents his loss of power and control in the plot.
Pacino builds a bridge between the two texts through contextual connections which are still significant to contemporary society. Structure and language has been utilized in both text to suit the purpose and context of the composer and audience. Pacino reminds us of the significance of the play and the sustained value of studying characters such as Richard. The connections between the text show how texts are encoded with values. In summation the relationship between context, composer and values affects how the responder interprets and creates meaning.
Play- 6 quotes
Film- 3 quotes need one more.

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