Storm Motifs In Shakespeare's King Lear

1596 Words7 Pages
Taylor Gerard
Ms. Bradt
English Period 8
March 10, 2017
Storm Motifs in King Lear
Many call Hurricane Katrina the most infamous storm of the 21st century, making it's rank as the third most intense hurricane in the United States of America. With over 1,836 casualties and 700 still reported missing, the hurricane had a devastating effect on the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricanes can cause lasting and disastrous detriments on communities. In the example of Hurricane Katrina, the immediate impact damaged areas such as roads and businesses, but there were longer-term damages as well. This includes economic disruption, population loss, and broken infrastructure which oftentimes lasts years after the initial incident. Storms leave chaos and disruption in
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The storm motif continues when Shakespeare alludes to Lear's madness. “Tempest in my mind” (Shakespeare II.iv.15). The physical storm is an accurate reflection of Lear's psychological state. It represents the storm in Lear's mind caused by the splitting of the Kingdom, but it is not limited to the chaos in the Kingdom, but rather the chaos in Lear's own head. The physical storm is very important for the actual plot of the play, however, Lear's internal storm is much more significant. Lear craves the physical storm because he knows the storm in his mind is much more powerful. The meeting of Poor Tom pushes Lear over the edge into a state of true madness.“The extreme weather matches the extreme anger, hurt and disappointment that Lear feels, and this mix of emotions is carried to the audience primarily through the harsh “winds” and “thunder” (Khoza). This author shows how the winds and the thunder relate to the storm in Lear’s mind. In Shakespeare’s time directors were not able to create storm-like special effects. The language used by Lear when referring to the storm tend to turn the audience towards his own inner emotions. “Prithee, nuncle, tell me whether a madman be a / gentleman or a yeoman?” (Shakespeare III.xi.8-9). "A king, a king!" (Shakespeare III.xi.10). The Fool asks Lear whether a madman is a gentleman or someone of ordinary status. Lear…show more content…
They also symbolized Lear's feelings of invincibility. Just like Hurricane Katrina the storm written about in King Lear had long term effects on many different areas. Not only physical, but psychological and theoretical as well. The physical storm, social storm, and inner storm all connect to each other strengthening Shakespeare's portrayal of madness throughout the play. Works Cited
AbdulRehman. “Storm Scene in King Lear.” Scribd, Scribd, Accessed 10 Mar. 2017.
Khoza, Chantelle. “What Is the Importance of the Storm Scenes in Shakespeare's 'King Lear'.” - Share Research, Academia, 2017, Accessed 10 Mar. 2017.
Maclean, Norman, and O. Alan Weltzien. “Episode, Scene, Speech, and Word.” The Norman Maclean Reader, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 2012.
Ottilingam, Somasundaram. “The Psychiatry of King Lear.” Indian Journal of Psychiatry, Medknow Publications, 2007, Accessed 10 Mar. 2017.
Shakespeare, William, and R. A. Foakes. King Lear. London, Bloomsbury,
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