The presentation of persistent incompetence of the elite class would seem unlikely in a Shakespearean tragedy. Yes, it in turn led to the expected downfall of almost all principle characters, but there seems to be another element of the play of King Lear – shameful ridicule. The repetition of dishonesty, superficiality, and blatant ignorance serves as an overwhelming theme of the dysfunction of nobility. Indeed, one of the main aspects of King Lear is the representation of royalty’s foolishness.
A clear example of the naiveness of the nobility is Regan’s hunger for power and wealth at an extent where she demonstrates little respect towards her own father – also her beneficiary. She insults his age and rudely implies that he no longer deserves the status of king and should pass it on to someone more capable. Ironically, she has the least potential for being an adequate ruler, “O sir, you are old… You should be ruled and led by some discretion that discerns your state better than yourself” (II.iv.165-169). Her shameless remark touches upon Lear’s own flaws, his d...
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- Comic Relief in King Lear Combining the antics of a circus with the pomp of a royal court is a difficult task indeed. William Shakespeare's genius came from how closely he intertwined the two seemingly mutually exclusive realms to appeal to all socioeconomic groups in his audience. In King Lear, Edgar's appearance as Tom of Bedlam, Lear's insanity, and Lear's Fool provide the comic relief which slices the dramatic tension. Among these, Lear's Fool provides the closest intercourse of the two realms of royalty and tomfoolery while still maintaining their separation.... [tags: King Lear essays]
483 words (1.4 pages)
- The Foolishness of Fools in Shakespeare's King Lear Shakespeare's tragedy King Lear is comprised of many distinct themes. His contrasts of light and dark, good and evil, and his brilliant illustration of parallels between the foolishness of the play's characters and society allowed him to craft a masterpiece. Just as well, Shakespeare's dynamic use of linguistic techniques such as pun and irony aid this illustration of the perfect microcosm, not only of 16th century Britain, but of all times and places.... [tags: King Lear essays]
1697 words (4.8 pages)
- We are lucky, today, that the majority of the world’s nations are democracies. This has only been the case in very recent times. For the greater part of human history, society has subscribed to the belief that birth is the most important determinant of one’s future. In Elizabethan England, this was especially true. Those born into the nobility enjoyed a lifetime of privilege, while those born outside of their ranks mainly existed to serve them. A century later, the British encountered an even stricter form of this belief when they conquered India.... [tags: Representations of Nature in King Lear]
856 words (2.4 pages)
- Tragedies are dominated by contrasts and conflicts between various entities such as, good and evil, legitimate and illegitimate, appearance and reality and so on. Another contrast is between wisdom and foolishness. If one associates foolishness with madmen and fools one will be surprised to find that in a tragedy such as King Lear this is not the case. Shakespeare portrays, the sane characters such as Kent and Cordelia as fools by virtue of loyalty, love and their willingness to speak the truth.... [tags: essays research papers]
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- King Lear's Folly In Shakespeare's King Lear, the actions of King Lear and of his daughters bring ruin and chaos to England. Social structures crumble, foreign invaders threaten the land, and, in a distinctly non-Hollywood ending, almost everyone dies tragically. The outlook is very bleak, as many of the problems are left unresolved at the end of the play: There is no one in line to assume sovereignty, and justice and virtue have not been restored to their proper places in the country's structure.... [tags: King Lear essays]
1201 words (3.4 pages)
- The Theme of Justice in King Lear Many themes are evident in King Lear, but perhaps one of the most prevalent relates to the theme of justice. Shakespeare has developed a tragedy that allows us to see man's decent into chaos. Although Lear is perceived as "a man more sinned against than sinning" (p.62), the treatment of the main characters encourages the reader to reflect on the presence or lack of justice in this world. The characters also vary in their inclination to view the world from either a fatalistic or moralistic point of view, depending on their beliefs about the presence or absence of a higher power. The theme of justice in relation to higher... [tags: King Lear essays]
1693 words (4.8 pages)
- 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.... [tags: King Lear essays]
1833 words (5.2 pages)
- The Tragic Redemption of King Lear Shakespeare's ultimate Tragedy, King Lear, is indeed a dark and soul-harrowing play. The tragic madness of King Lear, and of the subsequent turmoil that follows from it, is all the more terrible for the king's inability to cope with the loss of his mind, his family, and his pride. This descent into horror culminates at the tragic conclusion, where both the innocent and the guilty die for other's mistakes and lack of judgment. And yet, as bleak and grim as the final scene is, all is not lost is misery.... [tags: King Lear essays]
1637 words (4.7 pages)
- King Lear's Self Discovery Although King Lear is an estimable monarch, as revealed by the devotion of men such as Kent, he has serious character flaws. His power as king has encouraged him to be proud and impulsive, and his oldest daughters Regan and Goneril reflect that "The best and soundest of his time hath been but rash..." and that "he hath ever but slenderly known himself" (1.1.297-298, 295-296). When Lear decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters, Cordelia, Goneril, and Regan in order to have less responsibility in his old age, he creates a situation in which his eldest daughters gain authority over him and mistreat him. Lear is unable to cope with his los... [tags: King Lear essays]
2124 words (6.1 pages)
- King Lear King Lear of Britain has decided to abdicate his throne. In order to bestow his kingdom between his three daughters; Goneril, Regan and Cordelia he calls them together. His intentions are to split the kingdom between them based on each’s expression of love for him. The two older daughters sweetly talk their way in their father’s heart for sizable kingdoms. Cordelia however, the youngest and Lear’s favorite, sees the sinister motivations of her sisters and tells her father of her deep true feelings.... [tags: King Lear]
396 words (1.1 pages)