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

King Lear. In this extract, Shakespeare tries to illustrate the extent of Lears psychological suffering that he has been subjected to; first by his ungrateful daughters and now by the death of his beloved Cordelia.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

King Lear In this extract, Shakespeare tries to illustrate the extent of Lear's psychological suffering that he has been subjected to; first by his ungrateful daughters and now by the death of his beloved Cordelia. The use of long vowel sounds 'Howl ,howl, howl, howl' is used as a dramatic device to express the animal pain and anguish within Lear's heart by the death of Cordelia. For the audience this effectively brings forth tears of sympathy for Lear and, as audience we are able to feel his stark pain. 'O you are men of stone!' the metaphor is a powerful dramatic effect in painting Lear's inner thoughts to the audiences as he voices that the characters on stage, including the society that he lives in is cold, unfeeling and empty like a statue. ...read more.

Middle

Lear's use of simile 'she's dead as earth' is a dramatic device in this context as it creates an emotionally charged picture and reminds us that death is an inescapable fate. The use of conditional 'if' by Lear, 'If that her breath will mist or stain the stone' is significant as it reflects Lear clinging to the hope that Cordelia being alive is a possibility. Lear's and Kent's shared line 'is this the promised end' dramatically shows the impact that Cordelia's death has on other characters as they are reflecting similar bleak views as Lear. The use of rhetorical questions by Kent and Edgar 'or image of that horror?' ...read more.

Conclusion

It's also an effective reminder that even after death Cordelia still holds a powerful stage presence which is facilitated by Lear's uncontrolled outbursts. 'And my poor fool is hanged' is a direct reference to Cordelia by Lear, to an extent this is a cry for help and of Lear's utter destitution and loneliness without the love of Cordelia. The use of asyndetic listing 'why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life' dramatically persuades us as audience to agree to Lear's logic, why should something so vile and worthless have life and not Cordelia, the supreme embodiment of goodness and piety. 'Never, never, never, never, never', this extraordinary blank verse line reflects Lear's climactic emotional build up of pain and also enables the audience to effectively recall the repetition of 'nothing' in the opening scene. ...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 King Lear 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 King Lear essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

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

    4 star(s)

    At this point he has not accepted or realised that he has lost his power. However this realisation soon presents itself to Lear. When he finally realises later in this scene that his two daughters have betrayed him and that he made a foolish decision, the line "I gave you all" portrays his sense of regret and sorrow.

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

    Lear does not really have much left in the way of royal powers, as he has divided his Kingdom between his two daughters. The more that Shakespeare shows Lear as being irrational, mad and blind, the easier it will be for him to turn Lear into a mad character, as

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

    We also see the married Goneril making advances at Edmund. Particularly to a Shakespearian audience, this would seem completely scandalous. Are these both tools that Shakespeare uses to make sure his audiences sympathies a well and truly where he wants them to be, with our 'Tragic Hero'?

  2. Social injustices in King Lear

    nature', Edmond doesn't change his 'nature' he dies believing what he grew up believing, nevertheless, Edmond acceptance of his vile nature cause the audience to sympathise with him on a small-scale but our attitude towards him may be the same Bloom states that 'Everyone either loves him or hates him too much'.

  1. King Lear - Dramatic Impact

    Aswell as denouncing Kent as a murderer along with everyone else in Lear's presence. These factors combined create strong emotions adding to the catharsis felt and plant a fear for what more there is to come. The imagery used is also very powerful in creating tension such as 'That heaven's

  2. "Regan is no less a sympathetic character than Cordelia" In light of this view, ...

    audience are not as shocked by them purely because he is a man. It is, however, certainly questionable whether such endured ?tyranny? warrants the formulation of a plan to kill her father- although a result of Lear?s vanity, it is tough to justify her actions on the basis of parental

  1. To what extent is King Lears flaw the infirmity of his age?

    Furthermore, he fails to see the sincerity that glistens through Cordelia?s speech, and instead is delighted with Gonerill and Reagan?s declarations of love, declarations which are decorated in formal, sophisticated lexus and thus which contrast with Cordelia?s plain and chaste utterances.

  2. Compare and contrast madness: its possible causes; its manifestations; its consequences; and its resolution, ...

    Likewise, Edgar, slandered to his father by Edmund, must reduce himself to the level of a beggar, speaking in nonsensical outbreaks of feigned madness ("Tom's a-cold"), walking nakedly through the play, forced to watch the suffering of his father. Now even the true must lie to evade death.

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