King Lear by Richard Eyre

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One of the William Shakespeare’s greatest play, King Lear, teaches us a valuable lesson of how power can corrupt people. Over the decades, there has been various types of movies narrated from the play. Although both the movie and the play have the same plot, the play is better than the movie directed by Richard Eyre. In this essay, I will be stating the similarities and differences of both and why the play is better.

The movie and the play display the characters effectively, showing their strength and weaknesses. For example; King Lear. In the play, we realized Lear’s stubbornness through his dialogues such as “Nothing will come of nothing… Come not between the dragon and his wrath…” In the movie, it was also shown by refusing to look and listen to his loyal servant. Also, symbols were used both to symbolize characters’ altitudes and feeling. One perfect example would be the storm which is present in the play and the movie. Enraged by the betrayal of his daughters, Lear left out of the castle and into the storm where he met with Poor Tom and admires him due to his lack of wealth. This represent the madness increasing in Lear.

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Aside from the obvious differences such as the appearance of the characters and special effects, there are extra scenes that made the film to go off track of teaching a moral lesson. For example; Gloucester’s personality. In the movie, he acted differently from what we know him in the play as carefree and humorous person. “There was good sport at his making … This knave came something saucily to the world” shows that he looks down on Edmund, but he did not intend to harm Edmund with his words. However, in movie, he was uptight and harsh, giving no eyes contact to Edmund or joking with him. This is a huge let down since we would not feel sorry for Gloucester in the movie, compare to the play. As a result, we would learn that we reap what we sow in the movie rather than learning power corrupts people when they favor the wicked. Furthermore, there were many other clips that changed the story plot of the play such as Edmund and Cornwell plotting against Gloucester and Edmund pushing sick Regan aside.

According to the similarities and differences, the play is much more suitable and enjoyable to read. Not only it enhances our imagination, it also teaches us the true moral of the story that justice in the system. In the play, it is clearly stated who died and lived. “I might have saved her; now she's gone for ever! Cordelia, Cordelia! stay a little…, said King Lear… Your lady, sir, your lady: and her sister by her is poisoned; …” The quote shows that in the end wicked died along with the good and it is impossible to tell which side won. However, in the movie, it ended with four corpses being taken into a tunnel which did not state who died.

Overall, the movie and the play were both successful in establishing characters’ personalities. However, the movie edited plot makes the viewer confusing and failed to teach us the true moral of the story. Therefore, play is more educational as it increases our imagination.

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