William Shakespeare 's King Lear

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“The worst is not / So long as we can say, “This is the worst.” (Shakespeare 4.1.28-29)" William Shakespeare’s famed play King Lear is set in 17th century England. This play follows the lives of Lear, the King of England, and the Earl of Gloucester. King Lear is faced with the task to divide his land between his daughters, while Gloucester, a friend of King Lear, is caught in a conflict between his two sons. In the Play King Lear, Despite the main characters’ continuous suffering they fail to gain much in return resulting in a true Shakespearean tragedy. Some characters suffer more and some less, but King Lear arguably suffers the most out of any character throughout the course of the play. Lear suffers both morally and physically, brought on by his hubris. Hubris blinds him from being able to see the good intentions and true love of his daughter Cordelia. When Cordelia tells him the truth that she must split her love between her husband and her father he says; “Speak again. "Mend your speech a little, Lest it may mar your fortunes.", because he would rather have her lie then tell him the truth (Shakespeare 1.1.103-104). Lear’s hubris causes him to not be able to see the truth, disowning Cordelia, his only daughter who truly loved him. Lear is quick to push away people who disagree with him due to his self pride, but it could also be due to his madness. Over the course of the play Lear is seen as mad. His daughter Goneril speaks of his senile-like state saying; "Old fools are babies again” (Shakespeare 1.3.20). Lear is affected as a result, he cannot make well thought through decisions and does not know what is going on sometimes. He is a victim of his own mind and there is not much that he can do. His suffering continues whe... ... middle of paper ... ... in the play King Lear suffer constantly, they do not receive much consolation, making the play an outstanding example of a Shakespeare tragedy. Shakespeare 's tragic storyline was made to bring greater realization to certain themes and motifs throughout the play. One of the main themes is that with suffering comes wisdom, and that it cannot be gained without suffering. Shakespeare also wanted to draw attention to what caused the tragedy. Ending in the deaths of almost all of the characters, it is unsure why both the good and bad die, bringing attention to a possible outside controlling factor such as fate or gods. Shakespeare 's little consolation to the characters’ constant suffering was used as an aide to discuss and bring light to bigger topics and lessons that could carry on past his play and into the world, extending his legacy for ages to come.

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