The Calm after the Storm
One of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies ever written, King Lear, is one that deals with many aspects of human condition. It is recognized as a difficult and complex play, but Kurosawa’s Japanese interpretation, Ran, allows the audience to come to a better and more obvious understanding of the events and emotions that are portrayed in King Lear. Both the play and movie portray themes and issues that deal with foolishness, revenge and selfishness. These factors brought upon the catastrophes for both King Lear and Lord Hidetora. A very vital symbol of each representation of Shakespeare’s play is through the power of nature with the storm. With the extensive use of the storm creating the main source of imagery and symbolism, it becomes possible for the audience to comprehend just how strongly the emotions effected the tragic heroes, allowing them to see the change that each character undergoes from their poor judgment and stubbornness. As King Lear and Lord Hidetora give away their power, based on the satisfaction to their ego, they are eventually driven to madness and the storms intensify the natural order of things as they are thrown into havoc. King Lear and Hidetora struggle for deliverance once pathetic fallacy comes into play in determining the transformation of each protagonist through cultural influence, relationship with offspring and self-recognition after destruction.
King Lear’s and Hidetora’s actions and emotional epiphanies that occur are contrasted between climatic elements that come directly from their cultural backgrounds. The cultural aspects of purification and natural forces bring both characters to be forcefully pushed into nature’s cleansing process. William Shakespeare addresses the Western Christian world where the tempest symbolizes purification of the physical and mental body. Lear falls into madness and loses his own sanity when he abandons his daughters’ homes. On the other hand, Kurosawa connects with...
Cited: No Fear Shakespeare: King Lear. New York: SparkNotes, 2003. Print.
Ran. Dir. Akira Kurosawa. By Akira Kurosawa, Oguni Hideo, and Masato Ide. Prod. Serge Silberman and Hara Masato. S.n., 1985. DVD.
Shakespeare, William, and Russell A. Fraser. The Tragedy of King Lear. New York: New American Library, 1963. Print.
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