Every text has it's use-by date. Discuss in relation to Shakespeare's King Lear with references to different themes and productions.

Essay by dwaxHigh School, 12th grade July 2004

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A text must have its use-by date, perhaps with most texts but not with "King Lear". There is no one definitive "King Lear", the themes and underlying messages. Idea's explored by the play such as Good vs. Evil and Chaos vs. Anarchy are universal despite the context it's discussed and explored in. Although language is a barrier due to the evolution of the English language, Shakespeare is written to be performed on a stage, not read. Different productions throughout time often adjust the play to aid the audience's reception. Even today Shakespeare's work is considered a definite classic and today is still studied in schools and universities, acted in theatres and sometimes it's stories re-made into Hollywood movies.

"King Lear" explores many universal themes; these themes have proven to stand the test of time and are often still re-explored today in more modern texts. Concepts such as madness, loyalty, family, justice, appearance and the faults of aesthetic pleasures are acted out and explored allowing the audience to make their own judgements and decisions on what has been presented to them.

Although in a certain context a problem or debate may be settled, however as time changes so do problems and new debates arise. What once concerned citizens of Earth may not be as of much importance once new issues surface. With this in mind, it would be plausible to state that productions conducted in different times would also want to stress different items in "King Lear".

Different productions will aim to convey different themes and messages; often directors will omit scenes such as the production of "King Lear" by Peter Brook. He excised scenes including 4.3 5.3 and the blinding of Gloucester. Brook's production focused more on the iconography of hell, and omitting these scenes was what he perceived...