The Use Of Dramatic Themes In Shakespeare's Empire By William Shakespeare

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In many popular television shows, themes of scheming, feuding and backstabbing are common because this type of drama attracts audiences and good ratings. The use of malicious dramatic themes in entertainment was common in Shakespeare 's time as well. An aging or sick patriarch with three offspring holds a contest to see which of his children will inherit his “kingdom” does not sound unfamiliar to us. This kind of dramatic plot is featured in both Shakespeare’s King Lear, as well as Fox’s more modern hit television show, Empire.
In Empire, the “patriarch” is Lucious Lyon. He is a successful rapper and record label CEO who, after being diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), must choose one of his three sons to inherit his music
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Jamal is the black sheep of the family because he is homosexual. Hakeem is the youngest of the three and is extremely spoiled and arrogant. In the first episode, after Lyon explains to his son’s that they must prove to him they deserve the Empire after he dies, his youngest son, Hakeem, says, “What is this? We King Lear now?” Lyon is not satisfied with their lack of eagerness to prove they are worthy of inheriting the company and states, “Right now it seems none of you are prepared to take over after I 'm gone. Now, it won 't happen today, nor tomorrow, but I will start grooming someone soon. And it can only be one of you.” Lyon is expecting his sons to man up and receive their inheritance eagerly, but they are not as enthusiastic to prove themselves as he anticipated. He is not fond of his middle son, Jamal. Jamal is rejected automatically because of his sexuality and is not given the “kingdom”. In Shakespeare’s King Lear, Goneril wasn’t given the “kingdom” either because she refused to minimize her love for her father by putting it into words. Lucious proclaims, “Jamal doesn 't belong on my stage, I 'm not gonna have it branded a ‘homosexual club’.” In King Lear, when requested to prove that her love is stronger than her sisters’, Cordelia, the youngest daughter, replies, “Nothing, my lord.” Lear…show more content…
Hakeem, who is Lucious’ favorite, dresses with a urban rapper style, which includes designer jeans, jackets, expensive sneakers and boots, and fabulous, expensive jewelry (mostly large chain necklaces). Andre is always dressed in a button-down shirt with a tie, and Jamal is dressed in a much more comfortable, yet crisp and arguably feminine, style. He is usually dressed very casually with sweaters and slacks. Jamal does not participate in the wearing of the elaborate chains that his younger brother does or the formal suit and tie that his older brother is usually wearing. The difference in clothing represents their personalities as well as their standing in the show.
In the most recent episode of Empire that aired October 14, 2015, the brothers engage in a fist fight during a performance. Although the sisters in King Lear never resort to physical violence, it is clear that they are not fond of one another by the way that they speak to each other. “O Goneril! / You are not worth the dust which the rude wind / Blows in your face. I fear your disposition.” Instead of punching Goneril, Cordelia tells her that she’s not even worth the wind blowing dust in her face, which in plainer terms means that she’s not worth the

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