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Suffering in King Lear
Suffering takes on many appearances, depending on how it is received.
In King Lear, suffering was very painful to two people, and the giver wasn't
necessarily an enemy, pain can be from the ones you love. A storm isn't
something you wouldn't think of when pain comes to mind, but it is an element
and part of your environment, so are the people one deals with. Pain can come
from many areas, both far and near.
The enemies in our lives are their to balance the goodness that we feel.
The world has balance and they provide it. The pain that they furnish us comes
in many forms, mental and physical. In Gloucester's case, physical was the main
one. Getting your eyes gouged out must be an excruciating way to experience
pain. The blinding of a person is not only painful, but demeaning and
tormenting as well. Imagine being blinded and having to experience the world
all over again. The frustration of depending on other people and learning how
to navigate your surroundings, with all the grace of a child. This kind of
suffering could lead to suicide, and it would have, except Gloucester was blind
and couldn't see that there was no cliff to throw himself off of. His enemies
didn't want to kill him, but they already did, internally.
The internal death is the final stage of mental suffering, but there are
many stages before the one must go through to get to that last stage. Many of
these stages are shown in King Lear, as he breaks down from a powerful man to a
crazy derelict, all because of someone close to him, that he trusted, stabbed
him in the back. The family is part of your environment and so is the weather.
A storm can be a gusting hurricane or a conflict with your sister. Both
conflicts cause damage, and the damage may or may not be repairable. In the
case of King Lear, his mental state diminished rather badly. He was seeing
small rodents on his arm and even a elaborate courtroom scene, all in his head.
The pain of falling down from grace and having your own children disown you and
refuse you love you was too much for old King Lear.
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health, either. He was old and not the young man that he used to be. The
general poor health and stress from the family were physical things he had to
deal with. A weather-beaten, hallucinating king isn't a very good king.
The stress and anguish of both enemies and elements on a person are
enough to break them in every way possible. The process of taking away, or
stripping, the needs of a person is clearly shown in Shakespeare's King Lear.