Madness By William Shakespeare 's King Lear

1512 Words7 Pages
Madness in Shakespeare Madness can be categorized in many ways and forms. A person might think something another person does as mad, while another person might think the same thing to be normal. Madness is the state of being mentally ill. Examples of madness are insanity, foolishness, idiocy and many more. In the play King Lear, by William Shakespeare the characters in the play show many different symptoms and forms of madness. Three characters in King Lear show symptoms of some madness; King Lear portrays true insanity, Edmund 's madness allows evil and manipulation, while the Fools form of madness is used to hide truths that need to be told. Insanity, the state of being seriously mentally ill; is a form of madness. In the beginning, Lear displays one of his most lethal flaws and starts to reveal signs of madness in the play. Cordelia tells Lear how she feels about him. Lear does not like what he hears and refuses to keep her in his kingdom.“Good my lord, / You have begot me, bred me, loved me /....Sure, I shall never marry like my sisters, / To love my father all.” (1.1.94-104) Cordelia explains that she will always be there for Lear, and that she loves him as any daughter should love their father. Lear is blind to Goneril and Regan 's false stories of affection, that Cordelia’s love seems to be weak and insignificant in comparison. Lear then decides to divide his land in two portions, and gives each half to one of his untrustworthy daughters Goneril and Regan. Lear demonstrations perplexing and/ or reckless decision making before he goes insane. Firstly, it is clear that King Lear portrays true insanity at the beginning of the play. Lear 's madness increases after his two daughters Goneril and Regan reject him and strip hi... ... middle of paper ... ... a mad character because he is less like a fool and more like a living conscience. There are many different forms and symptoms of madness shown throughout the play. Finally, The three of the most important characters in the play each show their own different form of madness are King Lear, Edmund, and The Fool. Lear shows a form of Insanity throughout the play, Edmund is evil and manipulative and would do whatever he has to achieve his goals, and last of all the Fool shows that he is more than just a fool who entertains the king, but he knows more than he seems and chooses to hide the truth in riddles and rhymes. Madness is more than just being mentally ill and is seen through the perspectives of different people with different ideas and beliefs. People have reasons of doing what they do, and people have different beliefs based on the way they were raised.

More about Madness By William Shakespeare 's King Lear

Open Document