An Elizabethan Tragedy

An Elizabethan Tragedy

  • Submitted By: jessica27
  • Date Submitted: 10/31/2010 3:47 AM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 1263
  • Page: 6
  • Views: 470

“King Lear” by William Shakespeare is itself a traditional example of an Elizabethan tragedy that suggests certain values of justice and nature in Act 5 Scene 3. The purpose of this essay is to examine how the language devices of imagery, repetition and film devices of casting and camera shots bring the mentioned values to fruition. When analyzing the dominant reading of King Lear alongside the 1998 BBC production by Richard Eyre, the Ran version by Silberman and Furukawa and the 2007 King Lear Studio Company and Riverside Theatre Production, it is obvious that King Lear can be placed into any historical or social context.

The value of nature is communicated through the use of imagery. In the example, ‘And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh / at gilded butterflies’, the image of the bright butterflies reflects Lear’s thoughts of the golden finery of courtiers. Lear imagines hearing gossip from the court. Lear and Cordelia will act as God’s spies as they will know all the secrets. Their walled prison will be used as a defence that will protect them from the fickle nature of political wrangling as in prison Lear and Cordelia will outlast those ‘that ebb and flow by th’ moon’. Shakespeare has used the image of the tides to demonstrate how its tide and daily ebbing is governed by the moon which is always changing. This is significant as the Jacobeans characterized the moon as fickle and inconstant. Shakespeare uses this image to demonstrate the instability of the royal court under new leadership and the chaos and disorder created in the Great Chain of Being. This is important as it reveals that Lear and Cordelia as prisoners will allow them to enjoy immunity from the upcoming political crisis as they are balanced in a balanced world allowing no chaos while Regan and Goneril are unbalanced in a mad world, creating disorder and chaos.

In contrast, the value of nature is maintained in the Richard Eyre production through the use of casting. In the...

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