Richard III Act I Scene I Soliloquy - by Laurence Olivier

This soliloquy opening the play of Richard III illustrates the audience rapport resulting from this performance device, leading audiences to identify with the speaker’s point of view. Olivier has strengthened the speech by extending it with lines from a similar speech in the preceding play in the first tetralogy, Henry VI, Part 3, Act 3, Scene 2, 124-95. This clip largely reflects the brilliant rhetorical flair of Olivier's original stage performances as Richard which sealed his reputation as a great Shakespearean actor. However, there are some memorable filmic additions resulting from deft camera close-ups: the clever eye-movements, but above the treatment of the camera as a co-conspirator - and hence the cinema audiences too.

Video Info

Except where otherwise specified, all written commentary is © 2016, Hugh Macrae Richmond