King Lear Essay Research Paper King LearIn 2

King Lear- Essay, Research Paper

King Lear-

In a writing of Shakespeare’s play “King Lear”, the main

character is King Lear who starts off as a respected and powerful

king. As the story progresses the king loses his power because of his

own stupidity and blindness. The tragedy of this play is shown through

the daughters of the king, the fool, and finally when Lear’s sanity is

tested. At the beginning of the play, King Lear is powerful and harsh.

He decides he doesn’t want to be king anymore, and so he asks his

daughters, Reagan, Goneril, and Cordelia to tell him how much they

love him. He does this so he may give them a dowry to be married with.

First, Goneril begins to tell her father how much she adores him and

would never disrespect him, this is a lie. Next, is the daughter

Reagan, she does the same as her sister and lies to the king saying

that she loves him with all of her heart. Finally, Cordelia tells her

father that she could not tell him how much she loves him, because she

had no words. The king was very upset with Cordelia and because of his

madness towards Cordelia thinking that she did not love him as much as

her other sisters, he divided the land in two and gave Reagan and

Goneril each half. Cordelia on the other hand received nothing as her

dowry and in turn no none would marry her except the King of France.

Giving the land to the two daughters was the first of Lear’s mistakes,

for the daughters did not love him as much as Cordelia did, but they

wished to have his riches. When Goneril and Reagan are in power

they try to make Lear appear to be incompetent. They refer to him as

“The Idle Old Man” in front of everyone and start to make even Lear

think less of himself. Although the two sisters do this they also

realize that Lear still holds a great deal of power in their areas, so

they decided something must be done about it. The “loving” daughters

command Lear to let go fifty of his one hundred servicemen, saying

that they will not pay for it and that it is unnecessary. Lear then

starts to worry that if Goneril isn’t happy then she in turn will make

him unhappy and he agrees to let them go. Next, the fool is

introduced. Shakespeare does this to show the deterioration of Lear

that has taken place since the beginning of the play. The Fool is his

name, however, he is a wise man. He is a tutor to Lear and tries to

slow him down so that he will not lose his mind. However, in the

process the fool makes subtle hints to Lear that he has made some bad

decisions. These hints do not help Lear, they just provoke more

thinking about what he might have done to himself by giving away his

kingdom. After Lear leaves Gonerils castle, the former king travels

to his other daughter, Reagan’s castle. When he arrives there he

discovers that Reagan and her husband have left. Little does he

know that they had found out form Goneril that he was coming and they

didn’t want for him to stay at their castle. He later travels to

Gloucester castle and learns there that Reagan and Goneril are not

fighting as they led him to believe. This makes Lear very upset, and

Reagan orders him to be kicked out of the castle. Outside of the

castle there is a very bad thunder storm, this makes Lear believe that

the elements have joined forces with his daughters to try and defeat

him. He begins to yell at the storm in a fit a of anger. From this

scene it is quite apparent that Lear had nearly lost his mind. In

conclusion, the reader is shown how Lear went from being a respected

and powerful king to a regular man who seems to have lost all of his

family. The two people that he trusted most were the same people, that

in the end were the cause of his down fall. And the people he did

not trust were the ones who truly loved him and tried to protect Lear

but, Lear would not believe that he needed protection from his own

daughters. This was not true and at the end of the play the former

king had died.



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