The value of ambition to desire for power and how that leads to immorality and divine retribution is clearly remoulded by Pacino to suit his post modern 20th century secular audience
The value of ambition to desire for power and how that leads to immorality and divine retribution is clearly remoulded by Pacino to suit his post modern 20th century secular audience. Where King Richard explores a Machiavellian desire for power which disrupts the natural order, creating social chaos resulting in loss of moral values and death, due to the idea of divine retribution, reflecting Elizabethan providentalism, Al Pacino uses parallel links between modern political realities and democratic ideals to show Richard’s desire for power, reflecting on human psychology to promote the relevance of King Richard to a postmodern audience. Shakespeare presents Richard’s desire for power in the opening soliloquy where he admits his determination for power. This is further solidified via the animal imagery of Richard as a boar, which conveys not only power but his animalistic way to gain power like a boar destroys everything in it’s path. Furthermore Richard’s relentless desire for power is demonstrated when he orders Tyrell to kill the two rightful heirs to the throne, “two deep enemies…say it is done/and i will love thee”, indicating how his blind pursuit for power has created a unneeded chaos in the society, leading to his decent into immorality and eventual divine retribution. Al Pacino portrays Richard as a cunning politician rather than an evil usurper. The interview with Vanessa Redgrave,”those in power have total contempt for everything they say…thats what Shakespeare’s great play is about” is shown through the characterisation of Richard and how is power is portrayed,not his evilness. Shakespeare presents the idea of divine retribution in the apparent ghost scene where the use of juxtaposition between Richard and Richmond reveals Richard’s ruthless desire for power results in his downfall through the curses by the Ghosts send by god as a form of punishment. The biblical allusion of “despair and death” said by the ghosts conveys the highly religious values present , again alluding to providentalist society, juxtaposed to Richmond where the ghosts wish him “win and conquer” and “live and flourish” forever, signifying the good over the bad, the right over the wrong. This showed that those who followed the natural order were seen right and those who didn’t were devils. To reshape the value of divine retribution to his secular audience, Pacino removes the ghost scene and replaces by psychological explanations, showing Richard versus himself not Richard vs Richmond. By implementing a montage with flashbacks from the past and visions of the future with ominous, non-diegetic musics and the contrast between “alack i hate my self, Alas i love my self”,Al Pacino emphasises Richard’s psychological instability and how his desire for power has left him immoral.