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How has the textual integrity of the play allowed it to be read and received in a variety of contexts From its first production in 1605 in London before the court of James I until its modern representation by Brian Blesseds in 1999 Shakespeares King Lear exists as a play that may be interpreted and valued in a variety of ways It is the composers coherent use of language and dramatic form namely the textual integrity provoking audiences for several hundreds of years which makes this play capable of being read and received from the 17th to the 21st century These techniques have effectively produced an integrated text in terms of meaning and values allowing different interpretations to emerge through the ages The multifaceted composition of King Lear with the various language devices symbolism metaphors and rhetorical questions in addition to the emotive language and reflective tone allows various readings of the play to be received in different eras For example the earliest interpretation of King Lear by AC Bradley an Aristotelian reading of King Lear is evident when examining the characterization of Lear His misjudgement arrogance and irresponsibility inevitably lead to his demise and the notion of hubris is accentuated through the love test in the introductory scene Through the language of Shakespeare Lear is characterised as an egotistical and excessively proud character questioning Cordelia What can you draw a third more opulent than the sisters His fatal character trait is highlighted when considering the previous responses from Gonerils Sir I love you more than word can wield the matter and Regans I am alone felicitate in your dear highnesss love with his lack of satisfaction and demand for further flattery Lear insists that Cordelia embellish her words when he opens another opportunity for praise Nothing will come of nothing speak again Mend your speech a little lest you may mar your fortunes The use of instructive commands to Mend your speech adequately
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