King Lear By William Shakespeare Essay

King Lear By William Shakespeare Essay

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Within the Play “King Lear” by William Shakespeare, King Lear is presented as a complex character who is emotionally driven, turns a blind eye to reality, and lacks the mental strength to combat certain conflicts, which leads him to make mistakes throughout the play.

In the beginning of the novel Lear divides his kingdom between his two eldest daughters. He presents his daughters with the question of how much they love him individually. Both of the oldest daughters pledge there love to their father unconditionally. The youngest daughter Cordelia however who truly loves him responds with a statement that he is not quite fond of. Cordelia states to Lear "I love your majesty according to my bond, no more nor less." (Act I.I.94-5). In comparison to her sisters she says that she only loves her father as a daughter should. She does not try to flatter her father as the other sisters do, and she remain genuine with her feelings.

King Lear fails to recognize Cordelia 's true love for him, and as a result he banishes her from the kingdom. He reacts too hastily to Cordelia 's response which leads him to leave the kingdom in the hands of the eldest daughters who do not care for him at all. Lear makes the mistake of believing that his two eldest daughters were being honest when telling him how much they loved him. Lear 's character tends to base everything on what he feels sounds and looks the best. He loves to be flattered and praised, and in the end it hurts him, because he as not fully realized what he has given up when dividing his kingdom.

Another example where Lear lets his emotions get the best of him is when he does not receive proper hospitality form Regan after being mistreated by Goneril. In Act II Lear states to Glouceste...


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...one and regrets the choices he has made. King Lear represents many individuals who have acted to quickly and has had to deal with the consequences of his actions. This in turn was so difficult for him that resulted to him loosing his sanity. It is very important to keep a balance of having faith and be rational. King Lear lacked both of these, and if he had exercised being more rational rather than emotional events may have not occurred as they did. Sight whether physical or internal awareness is key. It helps to decipher meaning, which enable that individual to make more favorable choices. King Lear lacked many things, but as time progressed he gained some insight to his wrongdoing. Learning from your mistakes is truly when you have come to accept your fault and move forward from the past. King Lear makes this attempt which signifies a change for the better.



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