The Use Of Disguise And The By William Shakespeare 's King Lear

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In history, there have been many betrayals and deceptions that have taken place. Such as in the bible when Judas betrays Jesus Christ or when Saul disguised himself before the witch of Endor. There are many more cases in history where the use of disguise and betrayal are seen, which leads back to Shakespearian times. In the play King Lear by William Shakespeare disguises of certain characters through physical traits are seen in a more positive way. As it is interpreted that these characters must disguise themselves in order to do good. While he refines the audience’s way of thinking to a negative deception of others through greed and the hunger for power, which eventually leads to the deception of one’s self. Shakespeare presents the reader with insight into who these characters truly are. In the play, Shakespeare introduces the physical disguise of various characters. Both Kent and Edgar take on physical disguises as lower class characters in order to protect them-selves and sustain a close relationship with other characters in the story. Kent, who has always been loyal to his King, takes on the personality of ‘Caius’ in order to protect Lear after he has been banished from England. Although he has changed his physical appearance he has not changed his intentions. Kent states, “…that I am much more/ Than my out-wall” (Shakespeare III.i.44-45).That his clothes and class are not what define him but emphasizes the message that all good characters must disguise themselves in order to be good. Similarly, this is seen when Edgar must disguise himself as ‘Poor Tom’ when he is betrayed by his brother Edmund. One might say that while Edgar is in his disguise his true identity had come out as he was planning to get his revenge against his... ... middle of paper ... his side. Now that he can see clearly and realizes the betrayal that has happened, he understands the deception he has played upon himself. That he is guilty of all the events that have unfolded. In the end Lear has discovered his mistakes much too late, and his ultimate downfall was his ego and his perception of king. Shakespeare therefore explores many ideas related to disguise and deception, such as appearance vs. reality, self deception, and that the urge for power can only lead one to dishonesty and greed. The play ultimately reveals that every betrayer causes their own downfall, and that good characters must disguise themselves in order to save others from destruction. Shakespeare 's use of disguise and deception in the play shows how unlike many other stories or plays, the use of these can reveal many unfamiliar situations and can cause change in people.

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