The respective purpose of each composer helps to illustrate their context and the pre-occupations of each. Shakespeare aims to achieve a dramatization of the historical events that lead to the overthrow of the York dynasty that justifies the re-establishment of the Tudor Dynasty. Conversely, Pacino's work is instructive in nature; it aims to both educate and entertain. Pacino states: "Our main goal with this project is to reach an audience that would not normally participate in this kind of language and world". Looking for Richard is used as a teaching tool; it celebrates the power of the actor and common person to interpret and absorb Shakespeare's ideas. Through inter-textual reference of the Tempest, Pacino emphasizes the concept & importance of the 'role of the actor'. Similar, assistant director, Frederick Kimball states: "Actors truly are the possessors, the proud inheritors of the understanding of Shakespeare". Therefore, the educational aims are two-fold: to not only make Shakespeare's works accessible but to also illustrate the acting methodology. Consequently, King Richard III & Looking for Richard are connected through their purpose & individual context, which offer an enhanced understanding and enrichment of each text.
The characterization of Richard is a universal feature of both texts. Richard is evidently a key character and ultimately the crucial link connecting King Richard III & Looking for Richard. In both he is portrayed as a villain who draws in the audience regardless of context. Within the Shakespearean drama, Richard is depicted as a 'trickster' who challenges the morals of society. This is complimented in the film as Pacino depicts the character as an 'anti-hero' or a modern day 'gangster' that has a profound need to manipulate others in order to obtain power. Both Shakespeare & Pacino create representations of Richard's personality and appearance through distortion of the historical character.