Theme Of Manipulation In King Lear

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(T) While talking with Gloucester and Lear, Edgar (Poor Tom) mentions that, contrary to what one might think, the devil is a gentleman. This concept of evil clothed in civility is crucial to the the play as it stresses the concept that, often, one must be careful to look beyond another’s outward appearance or intentions in order to derive their true motivations. After all, deception can hide a whole world of sin. This idea can be seen throughout the show, most namely when King Lear’s daughters profess their love for their father. While Regan and Goneril may seem the most appreciative from an outside glance, their true goals lie in gaining land and power, while the most humble of the three, Cordelia, ends up being the only sister to truly care…show more content…
Helpless to control anything happening around him, he falls once more into insanity, as shown through his chaotic and repetitive language. Through the use of the term “poor fool,” Shakespeare endearingly paints the picture of a young, naive girl who was simply too innocent to last in the cruel world she finds herself in. Even more striking is the use of repetition, seen in “no, no, no,” “never, never, never,” and the parallelism of “a dog, a horse, a rat.” Here, Lear’s inconsequential rambling adds to the picture of a heartbroken father, driven to a final madness after losing everything, including his dearest daughter. This language, in turn, contributes to the tragedy of the text as a whole, as Lear’s emotional arc compels the text and deepens the somber mood. (CH) Furthermore, the repetition of “no” and “never” work to characterize Lear, even in his final moments. Throughout the text, Lear is a man who is stuck in his ways (as seen in his refusal to truly give up his power) and unable to break from the confines of everyday life and its futileness. In this way, his repetition works to emphasize this immobility, as he is literally unable to move on from a single thought. Just as a broken record player is forced to play the same part over and over, King Lear finds himself stuck running in
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