King Lears Emotional Stages

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King Lear’s Emotional Stages Throughout the play King Lear, Shakespeare portrays King Lear as a normal human being with a very complex and fragile character. In this very sentimental play, Shakespeare places Lear through the worst anguish of his life (Bruhl 312). The anguish Lear goes through helps him finally realize that human nature is not always loving, caring, and giving as his kingship disguises him to think. One may describe the mental states Lear goes through as myriad mental states. Throughout the play Lear reaches many realizations through his mistakes and symbolic madness, people’s wrong doings toward him, and his return to sanity through redemptive salvation. Lear makes many mistakes at the end of his lifetime. The want of an untroubled life of second childhood without the responsibilities of a well respected king is the main mistake Lear makes. The slippage of his self- image finally causes him to go mad (Dominic 233). Before Lear goes mad he realizes the state in which he is turning when he states, “My wits begin to turn.';( III.ii.67). Lear’s suffering is primarily mental and climaxes when Regan throws him out in the storm (Bruhl 317). The main mistakes appears “ as he [Lear] enters the phantasmagoria [fantastic imagery, as in a dream] of his madness';( Halio 192). This type of thinking makes Lear become mentally unstable. One can attribute King Lear’s main mental anguishes to the direct act of wrong doing towards him. The wrong doings cause so much suffering because it comes from the two people he thought loved him more than any person on earth, Goneril and Regan. These ungrateful daughters strip Lear of his knights when he gives over his power (Dominic 233) of which this quote makes an exemplary example: Regan: And speak’t again, my lord. No more with me Lear: Those wicked creatures yet do look well favored When others are more wicked: not being the worst Stand in some rank of praise. I’ll go with thee. Thy fifty yet doth double five-and-twenty And thou are twice her love. Goneril: Hear me, my lord: What need you five and twenty, ten, or five,... Regan: What need one? Lear: O, reason not the need! Our beset beggars Are in the poorest thing superfluous. (II.iv.257-267) This conversation describes how evil subverts good; but in the end good is victorious (Ribner 136). Lear’s daughters cause him to think that everyone who says they love him will turn on him. In the end of the story, Lear reaches the pinnacle of redemptive salvation. Lear sees his imprisonment as a time he and Cordelia can “live, / and pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh/ At guilded butterflies and
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