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Needs vs. Desires in King Lear
In Act 2, Scene 4 of King Lear, written by William Shakespeare, Lear argues that for a person to be content with only what one needs, is the same as reducing a human to the level of a beast or animal. I am in opposition to Lear's idea via the issue of needs versus desires. Through knowledge based on experience, observation, and reading I can elaborate on my reasons for choosing to challenge his opinion.
From my own experience I know that a need is a lacking or requirement for a substance, to live; an adequate amount. So a desire is to wish or long for more of something; or in Lear's world, to be on the verge of mania. A good way to compare needs versus desires is food. Food is a necessity to live. When you eat the right amounts of what you ought to, you are sufficiently nourished and therefore healthy. Yet, if you always go to an All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet and try to get your monies' worth by gorging yourself, that is a desire. This is for the reason that you are overeating, and the majority of the food is more harm than good. At an All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet you persuade yourself to always eat one more plate full. It seems to be worth it, so you eat till you reach the point of marginal utility for the money you have spent. By doing this you are satisfying the desire temporally but your stomach is miserable, which is a base lifestyle to have. I believe you should eat to live and not live to eat, nor should your flesh rule over you. The way this relates to Lear is that he could not depart without all of his men even though he did not need them anymore. He wanted to keep some since of wealth and authority. Lear also desired to be flattered which lead to his own demise.
By observing people I know that if you own less you are more appreciative of things in life. Yet if you own more you desire more. Therefore you become a slave to your passions and lust, rather than an owner of your possessions.
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