History depends on interpretation and interpretation depends on context. "King Lear" can be seen in many contexts and interpreted as a political statement, a comment on family dynamics or a look at the battle of good versus evil. It can be analysed to mean different things. It is easy to forget that "King Lear" is a play about family, but I think the play at its deepest level is commenting on family, and the changing dynamics of families as the age. In interpreting "King Lear" this way, many features that can change context must be taken into account, this includes; costuming, lighting, music and setting. I think the two scenes, which illustrate this interpretation the best, are the reconciliation of Lear and Cordelia (Act 4, Scene 7) and the closing scene (Act 5, Scene 3).
In Act 4, Scene 7 Cordelia returns from France to see her father.
Lear is sleeping and Cordelia wishes that when he wakes he will be cured of his insanity. She wakes him and Lear is confused, initially thinking she is an angel. When he realises that she is Cordelia he is stunned and ashamed, she offers her love to him and appearing more rational for the first time since the storm scene he asks for Cordelia's forgiveness, " Pray you now, forget and forgive. I am old and foolish". This is Lear recognition of his mistake but it is too late, he has already lost everything. Act 4 ends with Lear and Cordelia's reconciliation. This scene is very important to the ending of the play because it allows Lear peace in accepting death although he has to suffer Cordelia's death first.
In Eyre's version of this scene it is apparent that he also wished to focus on the...