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Word Count: 1,133
King Lear is one of Shakespeares most reproduced and recontextualised plays Different productions over the years regardless of the plays universal themes have evolved and been informed by the social and political constructs and values of their time emphasising the binaries of blindness and sight chaos and order and good and evil It is the ideas which are universal the text which is unstable and can therefore be adapted to different contexts the language especially the imagery and symbolism still richly reinforce the ideas being explored and finally the different ways of presenting the play on the stage in different contexts because of the inherently unstable text and the use of the contemporary medium of film that ensure that the play will continue to be relevant in modern times Firstly the binaries of chaosorder goodevil and blindnesssight along with the themes that are presented in the early scenes of the play are equally as applicable now as they were in the 17th Century as they can be interpreted and valued in so many different ways Richard Eyres 1998 production places an emphasis on family relations in a psychological framework and his decision to stage the Act 1 Scene 1 love test around an iconic white table reflects this alluding to the family dinner table Lear is portrayed as irresponsible manipulative and emotionally naive with his announcement to divide his kingdom among his daughter according to their professions of love Further Eyre alludes to what he sees as Lears bullying of Gonerill as the oldest daughter his manipulation of Regan as the middle daughter and his unquestioning love for Cordelia who Lear offers a third more opulent portion than your sisters as the basis for the chaos that ensues This contrasts with more traditional interpretations of the play which see Gonerill and Regan stereotyped as a single evil unit costumed in black and almost witch-like and foreshadow their resolution to work together to contain
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