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I am a man more sinned against than sinning How accurate do you consider Lears assessment of himself to be in relation to act 1.

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Introduction

"I am a man more sinned against than sinning" How accurate do you consider Lears assessment of himself to be in relation to act 1. "I am a man more sinned against than sinning" is the perfect quote to relate to King Lears characteristics and general attitude towards others. Lear is man flawed with a tragic fate, nevertheless the overall predisposition of the play is to discount Lears failings and regard the man with sympathy, understanding and compassion. However much Shakespeare tries to magnify Lears accomplishments it is hard not to recognise his own faults. Shakespeare shows Lears inadequacies through multiple mediums, firstly as a father through the lack perceptive qualities. Though the lack of understanding, Lear is unable to perceive good or evil within even his own daughters personalities. We witness the first sin of Lear, the love for flattery. Secondly, instead of giving away his land to the most capable and intelligent daughter, he intends to "divide in three [his] kingdom" based on "who doth love [him] most". ...read more.

Middle

Cordelias speech serves to show how fluctuant Regans and Gonerils speeches were. In a sense king Lear is a victim of his over indulgent personality thus reflecting Lears overzealous pride and deep fury which consumes his own judgement of reality. The reader can relate to Lears grandeur e.g the Sennet he enters with. The sensuously attractive language from prose to verse also shows the power that Lear holds, he was obviously a man full of accomplishments. This allows the reader to interpret the life of Lears of being great, thus to serve as a tragic downfall. On the other hand, arguably the king was dominated with materialistic possessions without these he would jus be an 'old fool'. A major factor in Shakespearian tragedy is the general portrayal of Lear; the characters of which admire him look upon the king from his own perspective, this serves to emphasise the tragic essence of the play. As a result the reader is compelled to see a man "more sinned against than sinning". ...read more.

Conclusion

From act 1, in my opinion Lear does not deserve much of our sympathy. He is ignorant to the true feelings and intentions of his own family. Afterall he bases his division of the kingdom on the deceitful words of the two sisters. The sins committed against him are the result of his own personal faults, his foolishness, rashness and blindness. His illogical decisions would seem to provoke others to committing sins against him. Particularly within the first act Lear is vengeful, becoming obsessed with the ingratitude of his daughters and concept of personal justice. The quote "I am a man more sinned against than sinning" replicates this, but also shows Lears acknowledgement towards sinning. In a sense this tragically emphasises the narrative, although Lear partially admits sinning as he relates to his characteristic flaw which has jaded is own perception of reality. However, are the sins committed by Lear greater than those committed against him? In my opinion they balance each other. Although the two sisters show ingratitude, cruelty and harshness, it could be argued that these characteristic flaws are on par with Lears own. ...read more.

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