The Universal Truths of King Lear

1345 Words6 Pages
The Universal Truths of King Lear Edgar: O, matter and impertinency mixed, Reason in madness! (4.6.192-93) Reason in madness, truth in suffering, and sight in blindness all contain the same basic meaning. In order to find and recognize our real selves and the truth, we must suffer. These various themes are continually illustrated throughout Shakespeare's King Lear. Their effects are not solely felt by Lear and Gloucester. All sincerely "good" characters in the play must, in some way, suffer before they can gain wisdom and truth. Some characters are made to suffer more, some less. The truths and wisdom gained are what give the drama its substance. These truths are universal. The "good" characters represent everyone with their as they gain knowledge from suffering. Lear, is the character most obviously made to suffer. In the beginning of the drama, Lear is unable to see the good in his daughter Cordelia. He is so egotistical that when Cordelia explains her love for him is that of a daughter for her father, he becomes enraged. He desires to hear she loves him more than she could love anyone, ever. Cordelia: Good my lord, You have begot me, bred me, loved me. I return those duties back as are right fit: Obey you, love you, and most honor you........ That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry Half my love with him, half my care and duty. Sure I shall never marry like my sisters, To love my father all. (1.1.105-15) Cordelia's plight is only one of the many truths Lear is unable to see. Since he is king, h... ... middle of paper ... ...so must the characters go through some type of suffering to appreciate the goodness, truth, and wisdom. Works Cited and Consulted Bradley, A.C. "King Lear." 20Lh Century Interpretations of King Lear. Ed. Jane Adelman. New Jersev; Prentice-Hall, 1978. Colie, Rosalie. Some Faces of King Lear. Ed. R. Colie & F.T. Flahiff. UniversitV of Toronto Press, 1994. Curry, Walter. Shakespeare s Philosophical Patterns. London: Mass Peter Smith, 1968. Hunter, Robert G. Criticism on Shakespeare s Tragedies.. University of Georgia Press, 1996. Matthews, Richard. "Edmund's Redemption in King Lear". Shakespeare Quarterly. Winter, 19q5. pps. 25-29. Shakespeare, William. King Lear. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Canada Inc. Toronto. 1990. Snyder, Susan. "King Lear and the Prodigal Son." Shakespeare Quarterly. Autumn 1966. pps. 361-369.
Open Document