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King Lear, by Shakespeare Essay

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It is often said “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” and Shakespeare himself seems to agree with this old adage. In his tragedy King Lear he has many of his main characters go through an experience that takes them far out of their comfort zone to change them for the better. Throughout King Lear Shakespeare shows that man cannot be morally strong without over coming suffering.
At the beginning of the play King Lear is an old, foolish man. He is blind to the traitors all around him. Although he physically can see, he is blind to his elder two daughters’ treacherous lies of their undying love for him. He is also blind to the truth. He believes his advisor Kent and youngest daughter Cordelia are liars, when in fact they are the ones who are telling him the truth. He banishes the two people who he should have held closest telling Kent, “Turn thy hated back/ Upon our kingdom” (1.1.189-190) and Cordelia
Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
And as a stranger to my heart and me
Hold thee, from this, for ever. (1.1.119-122)
To realize the err of his ways he must pay the price of his folly. He is kicked out of Goneril and Regan’s castles and left to suffer out in the storm. He has hit rock bottom at this point, calling upon nature to “Singe [his] white head!” (3.2.6) and kill him to take him out of his misery. As James L. Rosier states in his essay The Lex Aeterna and “King Lear”, “As the pressure on Lear grows and he tragically moves towards a period of despair, he recognizes in the full the internal causes of his downfall.” As Lear travels through the wilderness he realizes how ungrateful he has been for the luxuries life has given him. After having found shelter for the night from the storm he realiz...


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...compass from facing challenges and hardships. Everyone faces hardships each day, yet instead of complaining about them we should look at these trials and tribulations and see how they can help us grow.



Works Cited
Carroll, William C. "'The Base Shall Top Th'Legitimate': The Bedlam Beggar and the Role of Edgar in 'King Lear.'" 1987. Winter, 1987. 4th ed. N.p.: Folger Sheakespeare Library, 1987. 426-41. Print. Vol. 38 of Shakespeare Quarterly.
Hawkins, Harriett. "Dramatic Judgement in King Lear." Shakespeare: The Tragedies. Ed. Robert R. Heilman. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1984. 163-74. Print.
Rosier, James L. "The Lex Aeterna and King Lear." 1954. The Journal of English and Germanic Philosophy. Vol. 53. N.p.: University of Illinois Press, 1954. 574-80. Print.
Shakespeare, William. King Lear. Clayton (Deleware): Prestwick House, 2005. Print.



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