What Are the Most Important Themes in King Lear?

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  • Topic: King Lear, Love, Mandate of Heaven
  • Pages : 3 (1211 words )
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  • Published : May 15, 2011
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What are the most important themes in King Lear?
“Different interpretations focus on different themes’, this statement is acceptable in the play King Lear. Edwin Sherin’s production of King Lear primarily explores the theme of Oder and Chaos, as opposed to excerpts by Marilyn Gaull, which focuses on the theme of Love evident in King Lear and an excerpt by Samantha Markham in which focuses on the theme of Insanity. In my opinion theses three themes which are focused on through different interpretations of the play, are the most significant in King Lear In the 1974 Edwin Sherin production of King Lear, we see his directorial decisions on costume choice reflect the nature of the play, as well as the things that have taken place. An example of this is through Edmund’s costume in Act 1 and Act 6, as well as Lear’s costume in both Act 1 and Act 6. Through the first act, Lear’s costume made up of an armoured vest and a big furry robe clearly shows that Lear is the character who is most powerful. In comparison to Lear, Edmund is a character who is lowly ranked in society wears a plain costume. By comparing both character costumes, we as an audience are informed of the order of the kingdom, the social hierarchy in which each character is placed and the divine right of kings. Through Lear’s decision to divide his kingdom amongst his daughters causes an uproar of chaos and mayhem that erupts the kingdom. His decision to give Gonerill and Regan his kingdom, his authority, his power, caused confusion on who the country is meant to obey. As a result of Lear’s judgment, he is betrayed by his daughters and left on his own in the open plains on the outskirts of the kingdom. With Lear gone, his power diminished, Gonerill and Regan took control of the kingdom. This is seen as wrong and unethical, as women are not meant to lead or rule. As a result of their husbands being “weak”, Gonerill and Regan controlled them and their judgments. Edmund, the illegitimate son of Gloucester,...
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