According to critics, King Lear is the most devastating of Shakespeare's tragedies and perhaps his most moving. King Lear is just as powerful when translated to different languages, converted to film, and set in lands far different than ancient Britain. Upon completing the text of King Lear and watching it on film, I have determined that there are numerous differences between the two. Some of these differences found in the film make the tragedy more effective, while others are rather insignificant and deter from the themes discussed in the book. Each performance and portrayal of the play is unique in its own way. Some ideas are presented better in the movie, while others are presented better in the book. .
As I read throughout the text of the play, I imagined the castle as being large and constructed of concrete. We soon find out that it is made of wood and the roof seems to leak. When we picture royalty, we see the best living conditions and environment known to man. The film shows King Lear and his family residing in an old, run down facility. People of significance and higher class most often are clean shaven and wear the finest of clothing. The characters in the movie have full beards, long gnarly hair, and present themselves in an unorthodox manner. These traits and customs are rather insignificant to the emotions brought forth by the play, but still present the audience with a form of irony.
Lear's daughters, Goneril and Regan, were thought to be younger than the film portrayed them as. Lear is pictured exactly how I imagined him. I believe that if the film had cast younger females to play the roles that it would produce a larger contrast showing just exactly how old King Lear truly is. This wouldn't fit in with the description of King Lear though. King Lear is said to be in his eighty's. If the film showed his daughters being really young, confusion would result. The chance of an old man having really young daughters is rare and would be hard to believe.