Good afternoon and welcome cast and crew to the Globe's latest production of King Lear. What is tragedy? The Greek philosopher Aristotle summarised tragedy as a fatal flaw causing an important person to fall from happiness and prosperity in to catastrophe resulting in the hero moving from ignorance to knowledge and rousing a spectrum of emotions from spectators.
In this production of King Lear I wish to underscore this movement from ignorance to knowledge by stressing Lear's psychological journey throughout this play.
Today I wish to discuss what I feel to be the pinnacle of Lear's unbridled transition into the realization of truth, the Storm scene of Act 3.2. Lear's character is established possessing a fatal flaw, his ego. This renders him unable to reassess himself and the world around him, and is resultantly blind to the truth. This Act is significant as it expresses Lear's acknowledgment of his daughter's betrayal.
His damaged ego causes him to reassess himself and his world and he resultantly changes. This scene also contrasts with Act 1.2, the 'Love Trial', when Lear was strong, powerful and in control now he has nothing.
Within this scene the plot is developed by Lear's transition. He becomes more compassionate to others and also progresses further into madness. This scene also helps develop many key themes and motifs of the play.
Lear begins calling nature to "Strike flat the thick rotundity of the world", demonstrating his selfish attitude to life, that no one should have joy if he can't. Lear's insanity reverberates through his irrational dialogue and abstract imagery, "thought-executing fires" . Lear is humbled by the rain, he experiences real physical suffering and accepts it "No, I will be the pattern of all patience". Resultantly Lear changes into a more compassionate character.
Also the Fool's character...