King Lear In The Crucible And The Handmaid's Tale

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In the works read in this course, many characters live lives through a single story. They are unable to feel empathy for others because they are so focused on themselves and their own problems. But as they start to listen, they start to learn how the world around them and others’ experiences can help them grow as human beings. In King Lear, a play by William Shakespeare, Lear experiences changes throughout the play as he opens up to new stories. At first he is blinded by his own pride but as the play progresses he learns others’ stories and changes his views. Similarly in The Crucible by Arthur Miller, Reverend Hale is introduced as an all-knowing character, full of pride in his own work and a loyal man of god. But when he is introduced to the stories of the accused, he changes his views, becoming confused with what he truly believes in. Margaret Atwood displays subtle changes in the characters of The Handmaid’s Tale as well, showing that the commander is capable of feeling empathy for Offred. Through the experiences they have together, he becomes a less ignorant man, starting to feel guilt for what he has created in Gilead. Although some characters will always view the world through a single story, those who opened themselves up to new stories discovered an empathic view on situations. Perceiving the world through a singular type of lens is foolish. Shakespeare creates a very dramatic change for King Lear throughout the course of the play. At the beginning he is a very
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