King Lear Essay - Age versus Youth; Good versus Evil; Vision and Blindness
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Themes of Age versus Youth; Good versus evil; Vision and
Blindness; and Fortune in King Lear
"The theme of King Lear may be stated in psychological as well
as biological terms. So put, it is the destructive, the ultimately suicidal
character of unregulated passion, its power to carry human nature back
to chaos.... The predestined end of unmastered passion is the suicide of
the species. That is the gospel according to King Lear. The play is in no
small measure an actual representation of that process. The murder-suicide
of Regan-Goneril is an example. But it is more than a picture of chaos and
impending doom. What is the remedy for chaos? it asks. What can
avert the doom? The characters who have mastered their passions give
us a glimpse of the answer to those questions." -Harold C. Goddard,
The Meaning of Shakespeare, 1951
Good King, that must approve the common saw,
Thou out of heavens benediction com'st
To the warm sun
Approach, thou beacon to this under globe,
That by thy comfortable beams I may
Peruse this letter. Nothing almost sees miracles
But misery. I know 'tis from Cordelia
Who hath most fortunately been informed
Of my obscured course, and shall find time
From this enormous state, seeking to give
Losses their remedies. All weary and o'erwatched,
Take vantage heavy eyes, not to behold
This shameful lodging.
Fortune, goodnight. Smile once more; turn thy wheel.
Shakespeare's tragedy, King Lear, is often thought of as not
only one of Shakespeare's best works, but also one of his best
"poems". The language follows in Shakespeare's trademark format
using iambic pentameter in much of the play. Shakespeare's It is well
known for its many universal themes. Some of these themes are:
Dealing with he folly of old age and the ingratitude of youth; Good versus
evil; Nature; Vision and blindness; and Fortune. These themes have
been examined for hundreds of years in many different forums, but what makes
this play so unique is the fact that Shakespeare incorporates all of these issues in just one tale.
One character that examines some of these issues is a character named Kent.
Kent is a significant character in King Lear, as he is involved from the
beginning to the end.