Rate this paper
  • Currently rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
3.00 / 3
Paper Topic:

creative writing

King Lear : A Monarch 's Tragic Journey to Old Age

King Lear is the tragedy of horrible "filial ingratitude " the king is leading figure among characters , who are seen as being set in contrast with one another and placed on opposite sides of a well-defined divide On one side stand the "good " and "loyal " characters who love and support the old king : first and foremost Cordelia , the "sweet and adamantine daughter , who has been compared with Christ on more than one occasion On the other side are the "evil " characters who bring the

old king to ruin - the ungrateful daughters , Goneril and Regan , and the steward Oswald . In the parallel subplot involving the Earl of Gloucester , Edgar the legitimate son , naturally belongs in the ranks of the good , while Edmund , the bastard , is placed in the ranks of the evil

In the journey of King Lear , a play by William Shakespeare , we experience the king as a human being who behaves like a child is enacting a behavioral pattern that he has never overcome . This is more or less the conclusion that Goneril comes to

Regan 'Tis the infirmity of his age

Yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself

Goneril The best and soundest of his time has been but rash (I .1 .292-95

Another fact suggests that Lear 's spoiled and overbearing attitudes are related to a fragility deriving from serious conflicts and anxieties Old age probably aggravates and brings to the surface conflicts and behavioral patterns that have earlier been kept under control or altogether concealed , for "nothing will come of nothing " The idea is that the king feels a desperate need for gratitude and love on the part of his daughters but that he cannot acknowledge this need . To feel need is humiliating for a king , and he is "every inch a king " even when he paradoxically decry his own misfortunes

Throughout the play Lear 's course describes a zigzag . Each change of direction is a crucial response . Lear staggers from lapse to recovery through further relapse , to almost complete restoration , and finally to death . At the beginning of the play we are watching an old man and his awkward family . At the end all we can see is stricken Humanity holding murdered Nature in its arms . Lear is an old man without the wisdom of age , one who "hath ever but slenderly known himself (I .i .296 . As he arranges to give his last daughter to another man in marriage , he prepares an elaborate ceremony to announce his own retirement . Before the assembled nobles he states

Know that we have divided In three our kingdom : and `tis our fast intent

To shake all cares and business from our age

Conferring them on younger strengths , while we

Unburthen 'd crawl toward death (I .i .38-42

To Shakespeare 's audience , such an announcement - dividing up the country - would have been horrifying , a vivisection of the body politic a violation of cosmic , denial of primogeniture , and a...

Not the Essay You're looking for? Get a custom essay (only for $12.99)