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

King Lear. Shakespeare does not allow any of his characters to have a peaceful end and all are affected by the betrayal and loyalty shown by each of his characters.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"King Lear" Shakespeare's "King Lear", is a tragic play filled with betrayal and loyalty on the behalf of all the characters. By showing the true nature of the characters, whether it is good or evil, Shakespeare enables the readers to expect the outcome of events. In contrast to Cordelia who remains loyal to her father, Edmund has a self-seeking personality that leads him to betray other characters. Shakespeare does not allow any of his characters to have a peaceful end and all are affected by the betrayal and loyalty shown by each of his characters. One of the most prevalent themes in the play is that of filial betrayal. King Lear steps down from his throne and prepares to divide his kingdom among his three daughters based on who can proclaim their love for him with the most grandeur. ...read more.

Middle

One of the first acts of betrayal in this play occurred when King Lear disowns Cordelia after she admits that she loves her father as much as she is supposed to. Because of Cordelia's honest answer, I came to realize that Shakespeare constructed her character to depict someone who is entirely loyal and untainted by the evil surrounding her. The stark differences between character personalities allows for the reader to feel sympathy for the various characters. At the end of the play, Cordelia comes back to visit Lear and forgives him for banishing her. Unfortunately, Cordelia soon is hung and I believe this is Shakespeare's attempt at showing that the world is an unjust place where even the loyal and true are affected by the actions of the wicked. ...read more.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, they both become attracted to Edmund and this causes them to turn on one another. Their jealousies of one another leads to both of their downfalls. I find this interesting on Shakespeare's part because this relationship showed that people who betray would eventually turn on one another. This is a good lesson for children hearing this play because it teaches them that people who betray will always get what is coming to them. Shakespeare does an admirable job creating characters that the readers can relate too. With the obvious "good and bad" characters, the readers were able to predict the outcome of events. Although I found it unfair that Shakespeare allowed even the loyal characters to be affected by the betrayal, I liked the fact that he redeemed himself by showing the readers that those who deceit will eventually get what is coming to them. ...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. With particular reference to Act 1, Scene 1, show how Shakespeare presents the character ...

    a lot when she was his favourite daughter, but now that he has disowned her she is not worth much at all. Lear refers to Cordelia as if she is an object, which is particularly shown in the line "but now her price is fallen", and by referring to Cordelia

  2. 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'?

  1. In Shakespeare's King Lear, the Fools main function is to play three major roles. ...

    He uses these tools to interrupt the mounting tension while making his points at the same time. It is evident to everyone but the king how foolish he is. . The Fool is dressed as a poor man, which becomes significant, since a focus of the plot is on the loss of status and position.

  2. Just how admirable is Edmund?

    He is playing a very dangerous game, which he knows, but still feels he can have some fun with the sisters. Another admirable aspect of Edmund's personality is his arrogance and self-belief. Arrogance is not always portrayed as a good thing and if you are faced with Edmund it is

  1. "How does Shakespeare illuminate and develop character in the opening scenes of King Lear?"

    However, Gloucester's character isn't a totally positive change. Upon reading the letter written by Edmund under the lie that it is from his brother Edgar, Gloucester reacts in exactly the same way as Lear did towards Cordelia. At first, exactly as Lear, he is disappointed, and feels let down by his son.

  2. Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents the characters of Goneril, Regan and Cordelia ...

    She does not believe in making empty promises that sound wonderful, but mean nothing. She suggests that her sister perform this art, she says "that glib...". The audience feel they can trust Cordelia because Shakespeare presents her as the favourite daughter and also through her speeches that is short, yet filled with wisdom.

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

    The fundamental error that lies at the root of all of this is Bradley?s conviction that salvation can be bought with suffering?a conviction that, though admissible in other contexts, cannot be located within the text of the play.

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

    The actions of Lear and Leontes throw their respective environments into relative chaos. As Lear descends into insanity, so too does his kingdom; as his kingship is invalidated, the entire concept of parenthood becomes void on a wide scale. Examples of Lear's madness "like a plummet thrown from a boat

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