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Shakespeare's play-King Lear - Research Paper Example

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The plays of William Shakespeare have had an ongoing and significant effect on English literature, and in fact world literature for nearly four hundred years now. In their language, characters, themes and performance they have affected the lives of many millions of people. One…
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Extract of sample "Shakespeare's play-King Lear"

Download file to see previous pages In the words of an advertiser, publicizing a performance of the play: “He achieves a life without ‘lendings’ – the accumulated material possessions we cling to for meaning – or the need of them” (, Date Unknown).
Throughout the play, the inversion of good and evil so apparent in Lear’s mind comes to permeate the characters and the action of the play. Only in the very final scenes is order restored, the evildoers punished, and at least for the time being, can good triumph. But good and the restoration of order have come too late for Lear and Cordelia (from:, Date unknown). As a comment on the social context in which Shakespeare wrote the play, this restoration of order was threatening not to arrive, until the ascension of James I to the throne of England, and presenting the hope that England and Scotland would be unified (Jones, 1977: 212-215).
Before the ascension of James I, the threat of civil war was widespread. Shakespeare alludes to this several times in “King Lear”. Muir (1947:64-66) comments that Shakespeare believed that personal immorality in the ruling class is a disease that spreads evil throughout society, in extreme cases causing it to fall apart. By the close of the play, Britain is rescued from the evil in its leadership, represented by the two sisters, civil war in Britain is avoided, and the French invasion caused by Lears lack of judgment is defeated by Albany. While Shakespeare does not oversimplify the state of society, it may very well have been that an Elizabethan audience would have understood the positive end of the play to reflect the future under James I. The unfolding of Lear’s story, however, serves to emphasize Shakespeare’s understanding of human psychological, social and political events.
Lear’s mistake is to divide his wealth, land and power between his ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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