• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Critical Appreciation of Act one Scene one in King Lear

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Critical Appreciation of Act 1 Scene 1 King Lear, a historical play written by William Shakespeare exposes the vulnerability of great men. King Lear takes on the role of the tragic hero who is destroyed by his main flaws- arrogance and his love of flattery. Act one scene one of King Lear is pivotal to the play as it is the scene that sets the plot in motion. Act one acts as an exposition and from scene one the reader is able to gather key information about characters and events in the play. It is important to note that most of the primary characters are introduced in scene one, whether through dialogue or by being physically present. Also the initial conversation between Kent and Gloucester reveals information concerning the three characters of the sub-plot- Gloucester, his heir Edgar and his illegitimate son, Edmund. Edmund is made fully aware that he will not receive an equal share of the inheritance and his father's estate will go to Edgar, Gloucester's legitimate heir. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore, Lear is not initially viewed as a man of authority but as a fool. The impression one also gets from scene one is that Lear is abdicating his responsibility by dividing his kingdom, and herein lays the confusion- Lear wants to retain his "kingly title" without having the responsibilities of a king. The scene also introduces the conflicts of the main plot and sub-plot within the play. Shakespeare hints at the rising tension between the characters n both plots at the beginning of the play. One is able to decipher the rising conflict between Lear and his daughters and between Edgar and Edmund. Lear's tragic flaws allow him to be lured into a false sense of security by Goneril and Regan's flattery and also to drive a rift between himself and Cordelia. It is very important to note that both of Cordelia's suitors are French- England's old enemy. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is this very same quality that resulted in Lear disowning Cordelia. According to Bookwolf.com, the play is a direct product of Cornelia's proud integrity, and this helps compound Lear's folly. However, she will pay the price for this attitude. Shakespeare's ability to cleverly introduce characters and to reveal impending conflicts and details that will 'fuel' the plot is remarkable. Therefore act one scene one is very important to the continuation of the play as it sets the pace for future events that will enable the plot to unfold. This therefore speaks to the writer's craft. However there are certain gaps in the scene. Are society's laws to be blamed for Edmund's behaviour? Did Cordelia handle the situation in the most suitable manner? Was there more that she could have done to convince Lear of her love? All these subtle questions were left unanswered in scene one, and this calls for an appreciation of the scene because the air of suspense created in it spurs the reader on in an attempt to find answers for the unanswered questions. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Play Writes section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Play Writes essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How effectively does Shakespeare present Lear's loss of power in the play?

    4 star(s)

    his daughters and he becomes obsessed with this betrayal thinking that this action must be the reason for all other problems as shown when Lear asks the disguised Edgar "Didst thou give all to thy daughters?". He becomes so confused that he does not even know who he is at times asking "What's he?".

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Consider the role of the Fool in King Lear. How important is he ...

    4 star(s)

    why Gonerill particularly dislikes him: we can suppose that she has heard some of his remarks to Lear about the results of his abdication). He is intelligent, bawdy, knows popular sayings and songs, plays with words, and enjoys doing so (this is a trait of all Shakespeare's Fools).

  1. Explore the presentation of Edmund in 'King Lear'

    'Which of them shall I take?' embodies his mechanical view; it is merely a matter of weighing tactical merits and demerits. He can view his Machiavellian view of Albany - useful for the battle, but thereafter: 'Let her who would be rid of him devise His speedy taking off.'

  2. How does Shakespeare present Edmund in King Lear?

    Edmund perceives himself as a deity in a crumbling Britain, this is reiterated when he is talking about his conception, even before he was brought into the world he was better than the mundane birth of his peers. By being born because of the "lusty stealth of nature" it suggests

  1. With particular reference to Act 1, Scene 1, show how Shakespeare presents the character ...

    Lear, still unable to believe the words that are being spoken right in front of him, gives his daughter yet another chance: to "mend your speech"; otherwise she will not get any of his land. Cordelia, however, still does not alter her speech, and sticks firmly to what she has

  2. Edmund's soliloquy in Act 1 scene ii reveals his plot to supplant and gain ...

    In act 4 scene v, Lear comments 'down from the waist they are centaurs.' Edmund reveals in his soliloquy that he has a loyalty to himself alone, so neither Gonerill nor Regan's desire for him will equal his desire of self-progression.

  1. To What Extent Can King Lear Be Described as the Tragic Hero of Shakespeares ...

    A massive alteration from the man whose hubris seemed to allow him complete self-assurance. By Act 2 Scene 4, we think Lear must be beginning to see the error of his ways, so I was very surprised by the following quote, referring to the fact that Goneril was going to

  2. How does Shakespeare create a sense of unease in Act 1 Scene 1 of ...

    Therefore, by portraying Lear as a man who is potentially irresponsible and capricious, a man who separates power from responsibility, Shakespeare clearly creates a feeling of disruption, as if the whole situation is just ?not meant to be?, ergo unease.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work