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King Lear -Film and Play

            The play "King Lear" by William Shakespeare is a tragic story that revolves around the King of England, King Lear. Lear banishes his only truly loving daughter and realises too late the true nature of his other two evil daughters. The sub-plot is about Gloucester's illegitimate son, Edmond, who plans to trick his father into thinking his other son Edgar is betraying him. In 1998, the play was turned into a film. The film "King Lear", directed by Richard Eyre (1998) is an expressionist interpretation of the play King Lear by William Shakespeare.
             The film and play have many main themes including good versus evil and blindness. The composers have used effective techniques to portray the characters and events in order to convey these ideas.
             Good versus evil is one of the main themes in the play. In both the main and sub-plot, the children have a struggle between good and evil because of their ungratefulness. Goneril and Regan's cruelty and ingratitude is apparent when they lie, disrespect, ridicule and throw their father into madness. Cordelia, Kent and the Fool are people in the main plot that try to protect Lear from his evil daughters. Similarly, Edmond turns against Gloucester and Edgar in an attempt to gain his father's dowry. Edgar is the good person in this sub plot.
             In the play, Shakespeare has portrayed the theme of good versus evil by using different dramatic and literary techniques. Three of these techniques include antithesis, irony, and metaphor. The use of these techniques influences the reader's interpretation of the play.
             Image is a technique used to convey the theme of good versus evil. Eg, Lear's lines about Goneril and Regan. 'But yet thou art my fleshor embossed carbuncle' (II, iv, 211-213). Descriptive language is used to describe diseases, which Lear relates Goneril and Regan to. He turns his feeling of hatred to his evil daughters into foul images of diseases.

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