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The Storm Scene (Act 3.2) And The Scenes In The Hovel/Farmhouse That Follow (Act 3.4/3.6) Are Central To Establishing The Audience's Sympathy For Lear. How Would You Direct At Least One Of These Scenes To Achieve Maximum Effect On Stage Or Screen?

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The Storm Scene (Act 3.2) And The Scenes In The Hovel/Farmhouse That Follow (Act 3.4/3.6) Are Central To Establishing The Audience's Sympathy For Lear. How Would You Direct At Least One Of These Scenes To Achieve Maximum Effect On Stage Or Screen? The scene to be directed is the Storm Scene (Act 3.2). This crucial scene can be likened to a pivot, as it is situated directly in the centre of the play and sways the audiences view; either to build sympathy for King Lear so he is seen as a tragic hero, or to make the viewer believe King Lear gets what he deserves. As the director of a Shakespearian Tragedy the aim is to make the powerful, successful hero fall to a helpless, tragic end, and at the same time have a massive impact on the audience. There are several ways of doing this: To emphasise the Hero's fall in Shakespeare, he must firstly be seen in a condition, which is higher than ordinary citizens. Secondly, the "tragic flaw" theory suggests the hero has something about him that leads to his downfall. In this case King Lear's flaws would be his arrogance, blindness or inability to recognise Cordilia's true love for him and his two other daughters greed and selfishness. Thirdly the Hero must fall a distance almost beyond belief, so that his final state is below that of an ordinary citizen. Usually in a Shakespearian tragedy the hero finds or gains a quality, which he did not have before. In this case King Lear gains the ability to look inside himself, to find whom he is, and recognise the true values of the people around him. ...read more.


The Fool, who up until this point has been silent, now steps forwards, lifts his head slowly, maybe reaches his hand to touch the King on his shoulder, but swallows and takes his hand away without making contact. This shows the Fool sympathises with the King and is realising his pain. The Fool is a wise character and therefore if the Fool is seen to feel sorry for the King the audience will take note and follow him with this feeling. "O nuncle, court .........pities neither wise man nor fool" The Fool would speak these lines in a comforting voice as though to calm the King down. The Fool tries to make Lear see that he needs to find some shelter even if that means making up with his daughters. For the audience to see a Fool (the minor character) acting saner than a King (the major character) they will feel pity for Lear because he seems to have gone mad/insane. "Rumble thy bellyful!" With this line Lear falls to his knees. He is at his weakest ever and feels so small and powerless after reducing himself to begging to the heavens. This will be shown by the positioning of the characters in relation with each other and the camera. Lear will be very close to the camera on his knees, still pleading with the heavens, while the Fool, stands back, looking at the situation from a distance while still upon his feet. This shows a massive contrast in status to that at the beginning of the play. Lear has fallen below the Fool to nothing more than a small, feeble old man. ...read more.


Lear again shows the audience his acknowledgment of his state of mind, "My wits begin to turn", again Lear could say this with a certain degree of curiosity, as though he is finding more and more of himself, and understanding his ways deeper and deeper as the tragedy progresses. The audience will therefore see Lear changing from a worthless, arrogant being to a tragic hero. Although Lear is angry he changes his voice to a more gentle and caring tone. "Come on, my boy: how dost, my boy? art cold?" The King here becomes the father figure he never was. At this point the King could put his arm around the fool as though he were a child that needed to be looked after. Lear shows sympathy for the fool and due to his own extreme suffering begins to understand the pain of others. The audience see how Lear begins to care for someone else's well being other than his own, building respect for the character and ensuring the viewer that he has changed. To conclude the main aim of the scene is to show Lear's change in his state of mind from being an arrogant, selfish, blind old man to a more understanding, caring hero with a capability to see deeper into people than ever before. To emphasise this change the hero fell from the top of a hierarchy to worthlessness almost beyond belief due to a flaw, which in this case I think was King Lear's pride. Making the hero tragic was done however by creating sympathy for the King through techniques like pathetic phallacy, tone of voice and body language along with the script, only for him to die, but with dignity. Laura Wetherill 11FJWa 12th February 2002 1 ...read more.

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