King lear essay which explores readings of a family and psychoanalytical perspective

Essay by jacxHigh School, 12th gradeA+, May 2004

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Shakespeare's King Lear is valued and received in many different contexts and in a myriad of ways. Peter Brook, a noted psychoanalytical critic asserts " A writer can write a text and stick by it, even when a new edition comes out. Whereas if you are making this living material, which is making a bridge between and old text and actors, audiences of now, everything from values, concerns and character positioning must be changed."

A family drama perspective is depicted in R.Eyres film production of King Lear in 1998, highlight the reality of the dysfunctional family unit. Brook's production of King Lear in 1971 portrays a psychoanalytical-domestic drama understanding. By contrast to Eyres traditional appreciation of the play, brook's film broke traditional conventions, as the film depicts restructured scene order. This together with the changed dialogue for characters, which embodied a sense or state of moral neutrality. This, moral neutrality, functioned to provide the audiences with an opportunity to form their own opinions and judgements about the characters.

Eyre's production considers that the decline of the kingdom is a metaphor for more important issues, which is the disintegration of the family unit and conflict within families. Act 1 scene 1 is structurally, the most important scene in the play, as events occur in this scene, which determine or influence everything that happens subsequently. Additionally, this scene establishes the values and assumptions that will act as a foundation for following actions. This reading blames Lear's tyrannical character and the decline of the kingdom for the disintegration and declining state of the family unit. This perception presents the royal family in contemporary terms as a dysfunctional family, where Goneril has been victimised from birth, Regan shares a manipulative relationship with her father and Cordelia is her fathers favourite. The close up shows...