Preema Hamid ENG 338 Professor Prescott March 29, 2018 King Lear’s Character Growth Shakespeare’s King Lear is a complex play that complicates morality with foolishness, as well as associates madness with wisdom. It is about political authority as much as it is about family dynamics. William Shakespeare, known for his clever wordplay, wrote this play so that King Lear 's wisest characters are depicted as making foolish decisions. Lear, the King of Britain, is an authoritative and important man. As he gets closer to retiring, he realizes that he needs to pass his kingdom over to the next generation. He proceeds to ignore the natural order of family legacy by deciding to divide his kingdom between his three daughters before his death. He wants …show more content…
In this paper, I will discuss how the following events in this tragic play can help us to analyze the character growth of King Lear. It is important for us to recognize the flaws and weaknesses of Lear’s personality to see how his actions and decisions led to his ruin. However, although he faces the misfortune of losing the things that he cherished the most, he also has the opportunity of transitioning into his being and experiencing the new-found attentiveness of love and morality. Whilst analyzing the progression of Lear’s complex character development, we must start from the beginning. King Lear is an arrogant and powerful individual who is very much aware of his authority. Lear’s most obvious flaw at the start of the play is that he values appearances over reality. He wants to be treated as a king and to also enjoy the title, but he doesn’t want to take the king’s responsibilities of ruling for the good of his kingdom. Likewise, his test for his daughters establishes the fact that he would much rather prefer a complimentary public display of …show more content…
Throughout the play, Nature is a key element in the plot. Lear mentions nature several times when addressing the other characters. He goes against the natural order of things by dividing his kingdom before his death. He goes against his natural father-daughter relationship by banishing Cordelia, and he uses power that he no longer has to throw Kent out from the kingdom. Lear describes his kingdom in a natural sense when giving Goneril her part of the kingdom, “Of all these bounds, even from this line to this, With shadowy forests and with champains riched, With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads,” (1.1.62-64). Lear once again summons nature when he banishes Cordelia from the kingdom, “For, by the sacred radiance of the sun,/ The mysteries of Hecate and the night,/ By all the operations of the orbs/From whom we do exist and cease to be,/ Here I disclaim all my paternal care,/Propinquity, and property of blood”(1.1.110-115). Lear calls upon nature to reject it at the same time, cutting ties with his own daughter. He once again calls out to nature when he curses Gorenil that she remains childless. Nature is seen as a chaotic storm that also reflects Lear’s inner tumult. After being thrown out from both his daughter’s kingdoms, he faces the monstrous storm that nature befalls on him. Lear is cast out from the civilized world into the natural world, to wander through the storm and the wilderness, and he also has to face the inner storm of emotions within him.
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In the case of Frankenstein, Victor defies nature through the animation of the Creature. Defying nature eventually has devastating consequences as humanity rejects the Creature and it begins its quest for violence. With Victor violating the laws of nature, Mary Shelly conveys that nature is beautiful and healing yet also brutal. Attempting to control nature has consequences, as seen by the Creature's rampage. When in balance, however, nature heals the mind, body, and spirit.
gentlewoman?.(F I .iv.231-237; 243). Leggatt emphasizes on Identity of Lear, There is no identity for Lear because of what he did wrong against Cordelia, Cordelia 's “nothing” which is made him is raging and suffering. in addition to an error decision of divided the Kingdom as a result of his grave mistakes by ignoring his fate in folly behavior thus, Lear asking. Is there an identity? The Fool’s answer would seem to be no; his relationships gone, Lear has no identity left.(Leggatt,2005:156).Moreover, Fool says:“Thou hast pared thy wit o’both sides and left nothing i’the middle”;/ “I am better than thou art now./
Significantly he tells inconvenient truths to the King with the unbridled insolence of a conscience. The King’s descent into madness comes when, importantly, he banishes his Fool ' '.(2016:278).In fact, King Lear is a masterpiece of psychological insight into human nature. In this tragedy scene, the picture which Shakespeare has painted of King Lear becomes completely reversed here. Indeed, Many characters have flaws affecting their decisions in English literature, they made mistakes only to realize them later.
The natural world plays a big role in emotional moments as well as in other significant times in the book. The role of nature has helped change Victor for the
For example, when Montag is burning the books (Bradbury 1). This makes Montag so ecstatic to burn the books. Nature is inserted in this sense because they are destroying the habits of people. One example of this is when the girl wants to die with her books instead of giving them up (Bradbury 40). This is affecting Montag because he destroying habits to people, but makes him so excited.
Their perspectives of nature, however, are vastly different due to their circumstances regarding companionship and affection from companions. Victor Frankenstein describes nature as calming and it brings him great happiness when he is surrounded by nature because he himself is happy and adored by friends who surround him. Frankenstein has friends whom he holds strong bonds with where “harmony was the soul of [their] companionship, and the diversity and contrast that subsided [their] characters drew [them] nearer together” (29, Chapter 2). He is surrounded by companions that give him plenty of love and affection that in turn, bring him happiness and a favoring outlook on nature. Victor takes pleasure in wandering through various scenes of nature, feeling accepted by it, therefore, he can portray it as full of life and “awful and majestic” (82, Chapter 10).
The references made to nature throughout the novel affect the characters mood. “The very winds whispered in soothing accents, and maternal nature bade me we know more” (77). This quotation from the book shows the impact that nature expressed to Victor that made him feel relieved and happy. “My spirits were elevated by the enchanting and parents of nature; the past was blotted from my memory, the presence was tranquil, and the future gilded by bright rays of hope and anticipations of joy” (96).
In addition, the negative connotation of “nothing” repeated several times and the breakdown of the language foreshadows a breakdown of the family. As she reasons about her answer, Cordelia also expresses her compassion towards her father through a hyperbole by stating, “Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave my heart into my mouth” (Lear 1.1.93-94). Justifying her response, Cordelia expresses that her love towards him cannot be properly expressed as she contrasts how he has “begot [her], fed [her], loved [her]” and in return she “obeyed [him], loved [him], and most honored [him]” to show that she loves her fathers as much as their relationship requires (Lear 1.1.99-101). Though she speaks from her heart, Lear ultimately rejects her argument, recognizing that she is not worthy of his wealth as expressed through his belittling tone. As a result, Lear blesses his kingdom upon his ungrateful, lying daughters who he believes to have loved him the most when in fact, he exiled the only daughter to have truly loved him.
As the play progresses, Lear’s madness is exposed again and again. One spot in particular that really demonstrated his loosening grip on reality was in scene four of act three when after talking to Poor Tom, he ripped off his clothes (3.4.107-108). He had been talking to Poor Tom after leaving his horrible daughters at Goneril’s home, venturing into a nasty storm, and was completely unphased by the crazy things that he is telling him. This part of the play was a big moment because it captured one of the key moments in Lear’s downward spiral into insanity. His whole journey leading to his madness was foreshadowed in the very first scene and carried through all the way to the end of the
The theme of nature shows the differences between Miranda and Caliban. My production will continue to explore the relationship between nature and nurture in the development of the characters Miranda, Caliban, and Prospero. This raises the question whether people are naturally good or bad, or a product of one’s environment. In my production I would emphasize the complex relationship between nature and nurture. I chose nature verses nurture because it is slightly unconventional compared to the more prominent themes in the play and it has modern connections since the debate between nature and nurture continues today.
It is a striking event how he treats his alleged favourite daughter and how easily he believes the lies he is being fed. Despite this, his quote holds a certain truth to it. As Lear has sinned against Cordelia, his other two daughters have sinned against him. He is right in his words for the reason that, although he was unjust and treated Cordelia disrespectfully, he did it because he felt betrayed.
Beneath his high class physicality, Lear struggles to maintain his confidence within himself because he depends on the constant admiration from others to feel content with who he is. One who leads with counterfeit beliefs and unstable values is bound for failure. Shakespeare designed this playwright to display the tragedy of a King who slowly goes mad, however in order to reach sanity sometimes one must go completely out of their mind to gain the wisdom in telling the difference. (David Bevington 1988)
William Shakespeare's King Lear is depressing and has no mercy, but it also encounters many more aspects which are quite important for everyone to know, such as: trails of deaths, battles, love, hatred, treacheries and most importantly nature and culture. Shakespeare created a play where the world was cruel and there was only plotting and tragedy with no shining light at the end of the tunnel. Shakespeare makes King Lear, a natural figure to show the hypocrisy. The connection between King Lear and Cordelia is an analogy for the relationship of nature and culture. It seems that King Lear believed in culture instead of nature, he could not understand his youngest, nicest and the most loving daughter Cordelia only because she had no words to
Compare Lear's three daughters. By what means does Shakespeare deepen the contrast between Cordelia and her two sinister sisters? King Lear’s daughters were very different each daughter has their own motive in the play. Goneril is the oldest daughter she was evil and she puts her father out of her house.
At the same time, nature as a teacher teaches man to accept all the changes in life. It also motivates man. In the world of literature nature plays a very role to set the mood of the text. The creative artist uses nature to reveal both comic and tragic aspects of human life. Nature itself acts as one the most dominating characters in text which exercises its powerful impression upon the character.