No Tragedy Of Shakespeare 's The Matter Of Dying Essay

No Tragedy Of Shakespeare 's The Matter Of Dying Essay

Length: 1256 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

No tragedy of Shakespeare moves us more deeply that we can hardly look upon the bitter ending than King Lear. Though, in reality, Lear is far from like us. He himself is not an everyday man but a powerful king. Could it be that recognize in Lear the matter of dying? Each of us is, in some sense, a king who must eventually give up his kingdom. To illustrate the process of dying, Shakespeare has given Lear a picture of old age in great detail. Lear’s habit to slip out of a conversation (Shakespeare I. v. 19-33), his brash banishment of his most beloved and honest daughter, and his bitter resentment towards his own loss of function and control, highlighted as he ironically curses Goneril specifically on her functions of youth and prays that her “womb convey sterility, / Dry up in her organs of increase…” (Shakespeare I. iv. 277-278), suggests Lear’s decaying dignity and defeat. For all the King’s vigor and authority, he is clearly entering a terminal stage. Lear faces from the beginning a loss of power, which also defines dying: an increased helplessness. When Goneril and Regan try to rid him of his hundred knights, Lear reacts with rage and fails to accept the new realities of power. The King’s knight are more than simply a representation of his royal life, but assert his own worth as a person, for they “in the most exact regard support / The worship of their name”(Shakespeare I. iiii. 264-265). Lear is not the only character to face death or helplessness. The collective play deals with the intense physicality of dying. There is hardy anything more savage than the scene in which Cornwall and Regan put out Gloucester’s eyes, who was tragically stripped of all title and land, never to regain his once esteemed power. Oswald is harmed b...


... middle of paper ...


...end of his life, as it should be for all of us, to pray, to sing, to tell tales, to laugh, to be above the battle of life. Similarity, Gloucester, when confronted by the evils of Regan and Cornwall, finds hope in his hopeless situation by acceptance (Cantor). Even promising to “see / winged vengeance overtake such children” (Shakespeare III. vii. 68-69), Gloucester looks forward to revenge and maintains a sense of self, thus remaining hopeful. Even Edmund, after a lifetime of seized opportunities and evil intentions, surrenders in acceptance of the death that awaits him, in stating “Tis past and so I am” (Shakespeare V. iii. 167). The bitter illegitimate son had abandoned his evil acts in the face of death and, perhaps most shockingly, send a reprieve for Lear and Cordelia. Shakespeare means to say that death is not always seized. Normally, death is simply accepted.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Tragedy : The Great Mirror Of Real Life Essay

- Tragedies are an inherent part of human culture and drama. They are centered around sadness and death - misfortune and the falling of great characters. Ultimately tragedies were designed to be, and still are (over two and a half millennia after they were created) cathartic. Catharsis means “purification” in Greek, and it is precisely this which is at the center of the tragic power contained in this genre of drama. Catharsis allows us to release emotions, not just in traditional ways but as a group audience....   [tags: Tragedy, Tragic hero, Poetics, Drama]

Better Essays
1456 words (4.2 pages)

The Life of William Shakespeare Essay examples

- William Shakespeare was a very talented man known for his various works of literature. His works include poems, plays, and sonnets. His works are then broken down into tragedies, comedies, and histories. Shakespeare left this world centuries ago, but his writings continue to live throughout the world today. He has greatly impacted the world of literature and his existence will forever be remembered. In 1564, William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon (Hazell 32). It seems that Shakespeare’s career began around the year 1592....   [tags: Shakespeare]

Better Essays
1269 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on The Tragedy Of William Shakespeare 's Hamlet

- William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is based around the tragedy of everyone that becomes involved with Hamlet. It seems that no matter whoever gets involved with Hamlet after he finds out about the truth behind his father’s death, they end up losing their lives. One death eventually ends up leading to another; it’s a chain reaction and no one can really avoid it. There are plenty of innocent people that lose their lives, but there are also people who aren’t so innocent that lose their lives as well....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude]

Better Essays
1049 words (3 pages)

Essay about Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet as a Tragedy

- Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet as a Tragedy "Romeo and Juliet" is the most famous love story in the English literary tradition. The play focuses on romantic love, specifically the intense passion that arises at first sight between Romeo and Juliet. The play covers a very short time span of three days, in which Romeo and Juliet meet, fall in love, marry and die. The "story of…woe" is inevitable from the moment the Prologue addresses the audience from the stage. At the beginning of Act Two Scene Two Romeo, having met Juliet at the ball, finds himself in Capulet's orchard and sees Juliet at her window....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1255 words (3.6 pages)

Traffic Flaws in Lady Macbeth by William Shakespeare Essay

- What defines a greater tragedy. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are complex and dynamic characters who have tragic flaws. While Macbeth is extremely docile, Lady Macbeth is controlling and manipulative Macbeth’s fickleness leads to him to become a traitor, murderer, and ultimately leads to his death. Lady’s Macbeth’s manipulative behavior leads her husband to do horrible things, resulting in massive guilt and suicide. Overall, Macbeth’s story is ultimately more tragic than his spouses because his fickleness leads to a less complete and meaningless life....   [tags: duncan, tragedy]

Better Essays
586 words (1.7 pages)

The Tragedy Of Macbeth By William Shakespeare Essay

- In the historical Shakespearean pieces, his characters often face numerous moral conflicts throughout the writings. As a person, one has the ability to choose his or her 's actions and generally face several internal conflicts whether it be debating how it affects oneself, or how it affects the people around him or her. Unlike the villains of Shakespeare 's plays, Macbeth can never fully face his actions. When first introduced to Macbeth in the battle the impression is that he is a brave and a capable warrior; however, when it comes to the scene when Macbeth interacts with the three witches it can be interpreted that he is burdened with self-doubt but is also driven by courage and ambition....   [tags: Macbeth, Morality, Murder, Macbeth of Scotland]

Better Essays
1006 words (2.9 pages)

Fate Versus Free Will in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Essays

- Romeo and Juliet, the classic tragedy written by William Shakespeare, is often categorized into the lesson of fate versus free will. “The deliberate construction of the play so that its action seems to lead inevitably to the catastrophe of the young lovers' deaths is known as Shakespeare's "tragic design." (Overview of Romeo and Juliet) William Shakespeare wants the audience to realize that Romeo and Juliet are destined to cross paths, hence the title of “star-crossed lovers”. Numerous tricks of chance in the play support this theory: for example, Romeo's failed attempt to stop the fight between Mercutio and Tybalt and Friar John's inability to leave Verona due to the plague....   [tags: tragedy, love, death]

Better Essays
543 words (1.6 pages)

Hamlet: Shakespeare Tragic Hero Essay

- Hamlet: Shakespeare Tragic Hero         In Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, the main character is a classic example of a Shakespearean tragic hero.  Hamlet is considered to be a tragic hero because he has a tragic flaw that in the end, is the cause of his downfall.  The play is an example of a Shakespearean tragic play because it has all of the characteristics of the tragic play.  As defined by Aristotle, a tragic play has a beginning, middle, and end; unity of time and place; a tragic hero; and the concept of catharsis....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]

Free Essays
528 words (1.5 pages)

Essay on Fate in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

- If the Titanic did not bump into the iceberg, a tragedy could have been avoided. Why did Hitler get elected. Maybe then the holocaust could have been avoided. If a plane flight was cancelled on 9/11, we might have avoided the deaths of thousands. Why did Romeo meet Juliet in the first place. Could Tybalt and Mercutio’s deaths been avoided. Last but not least, why did Juliet wake up in time to see dying Romeo. What exactly ties all events together. Fate. In the beginning of the play it is told, “A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life;” (Prologue.6) this sentence indicates that from the very beginning the fate of Romeo and Juliet is written in the stars....   [tags: William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet]

Free Essays
746 words (2.1 pages)

Revenge in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is one of William Shakespeare’s most renowned works of literature. Published in the very early sixteenth century, the play remains to be the longest of all Shakespearean works and the most popular as well. Perhaps what is so appealing about this masterpiece, the tragic story of the death of King Hamlet, murdered by Hamlet’s uncle Claudius, who later marries Queen Gertrude in order to take the throne, and Prince Hamlet’s journey to exact revenge on Claudius for all he’s done to the kingdom, is the fact that revenge plays a rather large role throughout the play, being what motivates Hamlet to pretend insanity in order to succeed....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Revenge]

Better Essays
1551 words (4.4 pages)