Essay about Perceptions in Shakespeare's King Lear

Essay about Perceptions in Shakespeare's King Lear

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        In Shakespeare's King Lear, there are several sequences which display

the varying perceptions of different characters.  The perceptions of the

characters often differs because of what they are able to see and also in their

nature.  Such factors obstruct their vision, not allowing them to see clearly.

One sequence which may illustrate this is the banishing of Cordelia after she

refuses Lear's test of love.  Another sequence is the gouging of Gloucester's

eyes by Cornwall.  A third sequence which shows the indifference of opinion

within the characters is Lear's death at the end of the play.

 

        As the play opens up, Gloucester and Kent are speaking of Lear's

intention to divide his kingdom according to a test of love.  It is this test of

love which causes Lear to banish his most beloved daughter Cordelia.  When asked

how much she loves her father, Cordelia replies that she loves him according to

her bond, no more nor less .  This response angers Lear and causes him to ban

her for her refusal to comply.  Lear is held to the belief that she does not

love him.  He believes that the daughter which had loved him the most (and who

he loved the most) has broken his heart.  He is suspicious and bans her because

he thinks that she is the only daughter who doesn't love him.  It is Lear's

rashness which prevents him from seeing that she is speaking the truth.  It is

the same rashness which leads him to believe that Goneril and Regan are being

truthful.  Kent believes that Lear is wrong and openly tells him so.  He says in

a s...


... middle of paper ...


...onverged.  His personal suffering

allow him to make an unbiased and calm statement after the death of Lear.  He

has endured so much and can speak from his own experience.

 

        Several events in King Lear are seen differently by various characters.

Their own intentions and beliefs cause them to make decisions which, if wrong,

are corrected through the play's progression.  The nature of the characters

along with their personal desire cause them to be biased and sometimes

predictable in their actions.  Often times, it is the obstruction created by

other characters which prevents them from seeing clearly.  Eventually, in the

climactic play's end, all wrong is corrected, unfortunately at the cost of

several lives of many innocent people, making King Lear a true tragedy.

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