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Module A richard essay feedback
« on: February 26, 2022, 09:52:57 pm »
Critically evaluate how your understanding of social or personal values are influenced by the textual conversation between your pair of prescribed texts.

In your responses, use detailed textual references to compare the composers’ representation of these values.


A didactic examination of textual conversations that are dichotomous in the human antecedent timeline, reflects how a change in societal values or those of the personal values of respective composers is required to make texts pertinent to their changing surroundings. In particular, our comprehension of changing societal and personal values can be appreciated through Shakespeare’s drama ‘Richard III’ (1593) and Al Pacino’s ‘Looking for Richard’ (LFR - 1996), which communicate about the volatile nature of values, societal and personal. Shakespeare’s Richard III beseeches the audience about how one’s tread over immorality to fulfil their ambition, signifies their fall from grace justifying its drama composition. Whilst this same theme is pertinent for a more modern audience, the rise of secularity has forced composers like Pacino to reimagine Shakespeare’s work through a shift in genre and form. As such, Pacino’s docudrama highlights the relevance of Shakespeare’s Richard III by reminding us about the perils that endanger human attributes. Thus, the textual conversation between ‘KR’ and ‘LFR’ together enables the interpretation of changing societal and personal values, and hence expounds an accurate representation of the context the texts were composed in.

Shakespeare’s Richard III mirrors the 17th century Elizabethan providentialist society by appealing to commonly held beliefs that arose from the great chain of being. Shakespeare's scattered allusion to the great chain of being, exemplified by the perceived levitical doctrine at that time, enforces Richard’s inherent disabilities to be indicative of his evil intrinsicality and the havoc that it is foreshadowed to bring forth. In comparison to the postmodern world, the shift from  profound clericalism in the Elizabethan era, to the rise of rationality, has led to KR’s putrefaction, made evident by Pacino’s LFR, who highlights the modern American public’s penitence when questioned about Richard’s tyrannical caricature. Through the textual confocus, Pacino’s bewilderment about the public’s apathy towards Shakespeare’s work, reveals the timely shift in societal values that necessitates the need for a textual conversation between the two texts, divergent in their audience. In Act 1, scene 1 of KR, Shakespeare establishes the stage for  Richard’s plan of action through his iconic soliloquy; a literary form known to unveil the unknown. Richard reveals how he is “...unfinished, deformed and sent before my (his) time” which motivated him “...to prove a villain.” as could be realised through his ensuing diabolical acts. Shakespeare dramatises Richard’s deformity, comparing his contorted appearance as perfidious for even low ranked dogs who “...bark as I (he) halts by them”, introducing Richard’s duality, whereby his evil demeanour “...clothed by naked villany” can be sensed by dogs, if not the humans fooled by it. Shakespeare’s portrayal of Richard III as a Mahiavellian character further re-emphasises the commonly held belief of fighting one’s way up for authorial power, even if that comprises threading the path of evil as was in Richard’s case. Shakespeare’s focus upon Richard’s malformation reflects his emphasis upon the 17th century English belief concerning how one’s physique mirrors their inner psyche. Hence, through the close inspection behind the lingual motives of Shakespeare’s Richard III, societal and personal values can be perceived to reflect the era the texts were composed in.

LFR elaborates upon this textual conversation, by presenting a divergent view of the exact Shakespearean play, through expounding how ‘KR’ is perceived in more contemporary 1990s society.  With the rise of secularity, individuality and an overall change in the English lingual construct, the worldly society has changed from ever since the 17th century which coincides with the post modern American society. This acutely contradicts the 17th century English audience to which Shakespeare originally pitched his play ‘KR’ at.
Pacino sets out to portray the common opinion of the public by metaphorically  “peddling Shakespeare” on the streets. He repeatedly questions a multitude of people about what they believe about Shakespearean plays, with many exclaiming it's “boring”, hence symbolically summing up the fragmentation induced by a shift in the societal values from the providentialist Elizabethan society around which time this play was published. Nevertheless, Pacino’s deep passion for KR inspires him to patch up this disconnect by asking others about what its cause is. Pacino selectively employing a close-up shot of the faces of the public, elucidates the instantaneous cliched thoughts that the modern society have towards Shakespeare’s play. As Kimball exclaimed how “..there is no connection” between society and KR, it can be discerned how a shift in values has spurred the decline of ‘KR’. In particular, Pacino portrays Shakespearean drama as didactic text that “teaches and is to be performed with feeling” as he quotes the homeless man’s belief, which he perceives to be “...lacking in our modern society.” In essence, his response highlights our modern setting has eradicated the sense of humanity out of us, as we lead robotic and autonomous lives. The docudrama form of the text enables it to empower its Shakespearean counterpart, whose purpose cannot be recognised by the post-modern society due to a translation of societal values. Pacino’s LFR converses with Shakespeare’s KR, to further unveil how societal and composers’ personal values have changed over time, mandating the need for textual conversations to fill the induced gap.

Regardless, this textual conversation illuminates the portrayal of concordant themes by Shakespeare and Pacino in their respective plays, whereby the significance of the coincident plots conveyed can be realised - one’s blind search for ambition, may pave the path for their fated debacle. In particular, this frames how a change in societal values may not necessarily cascade into a shift in the personal values, which is neatly demonstrated by the aforementioned texts through their showcase of how humanic affairs have nonetheless remained the same. Richard’s inborn villainy arising  from his predisposition for power as originally portrayed by Shakespeare, is one that continues to convey a valid and relevant message in the post-modern world, as could be seen from its unchanged propensity in the docudrama. Regardless, the interminable correlation between KR and LFR, has shed light upon the crucial message initiated by the former text, eventually echoed to a broader spectrum by the latter. Shakespeare’s choice to employ his renowned drama, and Pacino’s appraisal of Shakespeare’s text into a factual docudrama, has reinvigorated the principles beseeched by the former text. Richard’s corruption to the core by his pursuit of the throne in KR, has incessantly prolonged his vileness as he implies the righteous heirs to the throne, the princes of late King Edward IV, murdered. Through Shakespeare’s application of rhetorical devices and a sardonic tone, Richard exclaims “Ha - Am I king? - Tis so, but Edward lives”, implying the young princes stripped of their lives, so that his seat at the throne is unmatched and unquestioned. Here, Shakespeare aims for the audience to implore how one’s pursuit of power never ends with an absolute result, but rather one that reaps negative repercussions incessantly throughout our livelihoods. Through Richard’s caricature he wishes to caution the audience about the inescapable nature of the humanic attribute of jealousy and hatred, often being sowed from the possession of a flawed ambition. Pacino parallels the same conveyance, transforming it into a more factual philosophical truth, as for the sake of his docudrama form. The overlapping textual conversation comprising of resonances aforementioned unveils how the broader textual conversation between texts, portray the relevance of KR in lecturing humans about dangers of nurturing a pervading desire for power, as implored by LFR.

A text can only be appreciated if there is a connection established between the readers and the text itself. The decline of providentialism and the abstruse nature of Shakespeare’s archaic English, deteriorates the already weakened textual connection of KR. LFR aims to rectify this, by reviving the long lost connection between KR and the modern audience, through metaphorically conversing with each other. LFR re-established the textual connection through showcasing the perception of KR by some of the creators of the docudrama itself. This represents the primary dissonance of these texts that directly arise through a difference in form, as Pacino’s LFR features a personal voice featuring the behind the scene moments, hence reflecting the personal context of the composers - something which can be found to be lacking in KR. Pacino’s selective inclusion of the opinions of his fellow director Fredrick Kimball allows him to accomplish the “... dream of mine (his) to communicate how I (he) feels about Shakespeare to other people”so that he can express shared difficulties in terms of relating to the original Shakespearean counterpart. In particular, Pacino features the intercut of Kimball expressing how Act 1, scene 1 of KR describes how there is a “...sick king with everyone else manoeuvring about” to portray how the linguistic barrier between KR and the contemporary audience can be feasibly overcome. This aligns with an interviewee in the docudrama who opines how “Intelligence is hooked with language. When we speak with no feeling, we get nothing out of our society.” as he effectively captures how the post modern society lacks the emotional interconnection expressed through the mode of language.
By expressing how the throne is up for grabs, Kimball explains Shakespeare’s implored moral of how the pursuit of power is bound to occur, as could be seen through Richard’s caricature. LFR expresses how the complexity arised though perceiving KR using a postmodern lens is flawed, as that will inhibit us to fathom Shakespeare’s intelligent application of dramatic language to express powerful feelings and emotions, as can be interpreted by the interviewee’s personal opinion. Indeed, this textual conversation is effective in highlighting the need for KR, through the appreciation of the relatability of LFR in the values it reflects, as it aims to fix the time induced impedance between KR and the contemporary audience.

Through the didactic examination of the textual conversation between these texts, it can be reaffirmed how the time and era in which a text is published is decisive in the personal values and the societal values they expound.  Shakespeare’s employment of a lingual drama as opposed to Pacino’s visualised docudrama, provide insight into how texts mandate a shift in societal values and hence the personal values of their respective composers, to retain their timeless feature.
 (haven't finished my conclusion - but can someone help me out here by providing me some feedback to use going forward)!!