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Shakespeare: King Lear main points and themes in the play - Essay Example

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[Author’s Name] Themes in King Lear Shakespearean tragedy ‘King Lear’ has many themes in it. Some of them are blindness, conflict, parent children relationship, suffering for tragic flaw or the error of judgment made by King Lear and other characters…
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Shakespeare: King Lear main points and themes in the play
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Download file to see previous pages This mental imperfection compels their holders to make wrong decisions and suffer thereof subsequently. Shakespeare's most leading theme in his play King Lear is this type of blindness. Not only King Lear himself, but Gloucester, and Albany are three prime examples Shakespeare integrates this theme with. Each of these characters’s blindness was the chief reason of the appalling decisions they opted; the decisions which all of them would ultimately come to lament. Initially, he was effortlessly cheated by his two eldest daughters' lies, then, he was incapable to perceive the reality of Cordelia's sincere and cordial love for him, and resultantly, expelled her from his kingdom by uttering these words: ".....................................................for we Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see That face of her again. Therefore be gone Without our grace, our love, our benison." (Act I, Sc I, Ln 265-267)         Gloucester was one more example of a character that underwent an awful phase of blindness. Gloucester's blindness deprived of him of the capacity to notice the goodness of Edgar and, conversely, the evil of Edmund. Although Edgar must be recognized as an excellent and affectionate son, Gloucester all but renounced him. He sought to kill the son that would later become savior of his life. Gloucester's blindness initiated when Edmund persuaded him with the help of a fake letter that Edgar was scheming to kill him. Gloucester's lack of sight and insight caused him to trust Edmund was the superior son and prohibited him from meditating the thought of Edmund being after his earldom. Towards the end of the play, Gloucester finally recaptures his sight and apprehended that Edgar saved his life camouflaged as Poor Tom and esteemed him all along. He grasped that Edmund designed to take over the earldom and that he was the cunning son of the two. Gloucester's famous line: "I stumbled when I saw" (Act IV, Sc I, Ln 20-21) was ironic. There are several scenes in the play that can drastically change the way the play is interpreted. One of these is the scene of Lear's "O reason not the need speech" in scene II act IV. The way in which the actor playing Lear perceives this scene can change a viewers opinion on whether Lear has actually gone mad or not. John Stanton's interpretation of King Lear was influenced by his own experiences with mental illness. This produced an interpretation of Lear that was among the "maddest" ever seen. (Dodd, 477) His constant outbursts are offset by moments of kindness and understanding. The opening words of the speech are usually cried out to signify Lear's frustration. In the following lines, Shakespeare uses alliteration to good effect. The repetition of the letter "b" when Lear says "Our Basest Beggars", gives the impression of Lear losing his breath in his seemingly old age and current state of insanity. Lear's unnatural dealings lead to unnatural decisions and actions in others like when Lear makes the mistake of giving state and family power over to Gonerill and Regan. The same is true when Gloucester believes his 'bastard' son whom he mistakes for a 'Loyal and natural boy' is allowed to push out his legitimate son. In both cases Lear and Gloucester's errors prove disastrous. Gloucester and Edmund each have their own different views on what they think is natural. At the beginning from the clever manipulation of Edmund, Gloucester acts rashly and ruthlessly when he ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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