Animal Imagery In Shakespeare's King Lear

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Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’ is testament to his incredible skill of forming images and symbols to further the plot, engage the reader, and communicate complex insights into humanity. The play is filled with vivid animal imagery, images of suffering and old age, all of which add to the enthralling nature of the dramatic ‘King Lear’. These memorable images are complimented by ingeniously constructed symbolism and metaphor. Shakespeare excellently communicates the intricacies of love, and emotional pain through thought-provoking symbols and incredibly presented metaphors. There is a stark juxtaposition of imagery as we witness love as a redemptive force but also images of cruelty and animals. Shakespeare presents vivid animal imagery in a striking…show more content…
At face value this is incredibly interesting but due to Shakespeare’s wonderful presentation of thought-provoking and memorable symbolism, it is striking. There are many vivid examples of this scattered throughout the play but my favourite is when Lear observes “We are not ourselves when nature being oppressed commands the mind to suffer with the body.” This highlights how we can survive physical suffering, and we can survive emotional suffering but we cannot cope with both simultaneously. When both occur it causes severe emotional turmoil and man to breakdown. This incredibly memorable and thought-provoking observation is incredible as it explores the fragility of man in such an interesting way. Preceded by Lear shouting “Hysterica Passio! Down thou climbing sorrow!” we are given an insight into how close Lear is to a breakdown. This further accentuates the duel suffering he must endure. This engaging narrative is incredibly memorable due to Shakespeare’s implantation of this ingenious symbolism. It engages the audience and aids them in relating to the thematic context of the play, highlighting Shakespeare’s
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