• 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. Social injustices in King Lear

    Lear created segregation in his society, where people felt ostracised, interestingly Lear ultimately faces his own social injustices and as a result he says 'Is man no more than this?' Lear is finally brought into reality; he experiences his own ruling and is saddened by it.

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

    Cordelia uses the word "love" with love - she does not just throw it about and say it casually; when Cordelia says it she means it. The word is coming from her heart, and she does not persist the issue any more than is necessary.

  1. King Lear, Femininity and Female Disorder

    The palace is already tainted with whoredom. Blind Fortune who curses and dooms the downtrodden at her very caprice is called "that arrant whore who ne'er turns the key to the poor"(Act II, Scene IV,L. 57). Likewise Cordelia calls blind Fortune "False Fortune" (Act V, Scene VI, L.

  2. 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

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

    Kent?s words, if brash, ring true and serve to alert the inexorable Lear. A relevant note to make concerning Lear?s attitude is his desire to unburden himself of the King?s onerous responsibilities, all the while maintaining his power and title, which he shows no sign of planning to give up.

  2. The Nature of Redemption and the Limits of Pessimism in King Lear

    The related themes of atonement and redemption cannot be discovered within the world of King Lear, and so these concepts remain inherently foreign to the ultimate meaning of the work. Between Edmund?s atheistic faith in fortune or Gloucester?s lamentation of the indifferent gods, there is no point in King Lear in which Bradley?s vision of a transcendent moral authority emerges.

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