An Analysis of Divine Justice in King Lear: What the Character’s Deaths revealed about Justice
In the period that King Lear was written, the concept of Divine Justice was a source of heated political debate. Blurred lines existed between church and government and political and religious power. Religious based laws were prominent in the government system. The intertwining of government and religion caused society to question who, or what truly held power. (Heinemann, 2008) The concept of Divine Justice suggested that a greater being held the master plan and determines a person’s fate based on an analysis of their life actions. If Divine Justice was the true power logic would suggest that evil characters would receive all punishments or deaths. However, King Lear dispelled that thought showing that the good characters are often punished and killed alongside their evil …show more content…
There is an aspect of action and punishment within the plot of King Lear. Characters who look for external control may attribute their punishment to the work of Divine Justice. The tragic fates of the “just” characters in King Lear show that fatal power comes from human choice, not Divine Justice.
In King Lear, Gloucester internally struggles between his legitimate son, Edgar, and his illegitimate son, Edmund. He is unable to appropriately place trust in his sons and this leads to Gloucester’s punishments. Gloucester banishes Edgar despite that Edgar remained loyal to his father. Shortly after Edgar’s banishment, Cornwall blinds Gloucester while revealing to him that Edmund