King Lear And King 's King Essay

King Lear And King 's King Essay

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Over the course of thousands of years, respectable as well as corrupt rulers have reigned over England. The year of 1603 marks the year that King James I ascended to the throne in England, which is also the year that Shakespeare’s King Lear was written. The ruling of King James I and King Lear parallel each other, creating New Historicism. Both kings believed their right as monarch was to have absolute rule, which concerned both the population and the people close to each. Each king felt almighty and godly, causing tensions between different bodies in society. ..King Lear and King James I of England both represent a monarch whose arrogance and egotistical attributes hinder their ruling, shown through the way they act in the government, treat their people, and treat their own workers.
Both King Lear and King James I role in government helped the people, but also put themselves before their people. While the king of England at the time of the publication of King Lear did promote peace by ending a war with Spain, he lived a very lavish lifestyle. Many of the decisions he made were in the interest of only him, not the masses. Because, according to parliament, he was “an old and experienced king,” (Mathew), he felt as though he was almighty and all knowing in the realm of ruling. In addition, he viewed his role in government differently than others, and believed that his wisdom could outweigh any other force. This created tensions within the government and allowed King James I’s egocentricity to shine through. Comparably, throughout Shakespeare’s King Lear, Lear is materialistic and lacks the selflessness needed for a monarch. Starting on the first page, King Lear begins to show his blindness for love and loyalty as he or...


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... King Lear looks out for only himself. In that situation, he felt betrayed by Cordelia as she would not gush over her love for him. Therefore, Kent supporting Cordelia led to Lear’s disapproval.
King Lear and King James I’s egotism obstruct the way a proper king should act towards the government, their people, and their workers. King Lear’s self-interest and blindness to love and loyalty promotes the idea that Lear cares more about his power and fame than anything else. In 1603, when King James I was in power in England, he had similar ideas on ruling. He thought that the people should praise him as a god. Because of this attitude, the two kings parallel each other, creating New Historicism. Shakespeare writes King Lear with King James I in mind. The undeniable connection demonstrates to readers how ones attitude can affect the people and the government.

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