As time passes the values and expectations of the audience change and therefore so must film and literature. King Lear by William Shakespeare was written in the early 1600's and represented the hierarchical society of the Elizabethan times. Interpretations of this famous play have been manipulated and have developed over time as the context of the performance or film evolves. The settings of these various King Lear performances are constructed for the contemporary audience at the time of production. How these adaptations are constructed is a reflection of the contexts of these performances and creates an interaction between the responder and the production. .
All the appropriations and criticisms of King Lear however, cannot be completely valid, as they are all created as a subjective opinion of the director or critic about the Shakespearean classic tragedy. The examination of the performances of Act I, Scene I in Michael Elliot's film, Barrie Kosky's play and also Act V, Scene III in Peter Brook's film and once again in Michael Elliot's film, demonstrates how each adaptation of King Lear is designed for a contemporary audience when produced. .
Act I, Scene I of King Lear sets the story and theme for the play and is vital in developing an understanding of the performances. The traditional setting of Elliot's cinematic construction and the revealing ideas and accusations of Kosky's production, provide the responder with a contemporary interpretation of the text. These representations are produced to manipulate the audience into believing this famous tragedy and to create a commonality between the context of contemporary society and the context within the play. By doing this, the director is able to communicate to the responder their perception of King Lear using the codes and conventions of performance drama.
In Barrie Kosky's production of King Lear, Act I, Scene I is a post-modern view of the Shakespeare classic.