The Tragic Hero In Shakespeare's King Lear

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Although King Lear, by William Shakespeare, is a tragic tale; the main character, King Lear, does not posses all the required qualities of a tragic hero. Lear fails to face his death with courage or honor, which causes the audience to feel apathetic to him. This makes Lear a tragic character but not a tragic hero. Shakespeare makes Lear’s lacking qualities more apparent by Cordelia, a true tragic hero. In comparison with tragic heroes found in Shakespeare’s plays, Shakespeare makes King Lear’s death brief. After Lear rambles his last line, Shakespeare ends his life with the line “(He dies)” (5. 3. 375) without an explanation. Even in his death, Lear never accepts his responsibility in his own trady. Instead, he blames his misfortunes on his…show more content…
Lear banishes Kent and Cordelia because he feels that they betrayed him. When both of them were trying to protect Lear. Cordelia gives Lear the opportunity to fix their relationship, when Cordelia brings the french army to his aid and proceeds to beg her father for forgiveness. Only then, Lear accepts and asks for Cordelia forgiveness. However, this apology does not prevent Lear from finishing his tragedy. Instead, he leads Cordelia to her demise. In addition to Cordelia, Lear fails to fix the wrongs that he commits against Kent, as a result of Lear’s fear of betrayal. Kent, like Cordelia, continue to care for Lear. Instead of leaving the country, Kent decides to disguise himself as a servant and serve Lear. When Kent finally reveals himself to Lear, he is never given an apology. Lear just simply states “You are welcome hither,” (5. 3. 350) and although this does allow Kent back into the country it is not an apology. Kent’s unveiling causes Shakespeare 's audience to question what would have happened if Lear took it upon himself to make amends with the people that truly care for him. If, instead, Lear had switched his focus from betrayal to love then the play may not have been labeled a
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