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

King Lear. The theme of disorder is one of the main and important issues in the play.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Lear The theme of disorder is one of the main and important issues in the play. Lear's selfish and greedy act of dividing the country, 'know that we have divided in three our kingdom' doesn't only creates natural madness and chaos but in this act leads to social madness and frenzy that leads to pain, death and betrayal. Lear represents an ageing society in decomposition, imperfect in its operation and function; hence, his act of banishing Cordelia, 'Thy truth then be thy dower' is due to his lack of judgement. For a Jacobean audience, this would be seen as political madness and suicide and it would frighten many who would have been reminded of the civil war, which would have been fresh in many peoples' minds. ...read more.

Middle

For Shakespeare, the theme of social disorder is significant as Gloucester's sub-plot parallels that of Lear's story and thematically reinforces that disorder does occur within the family. As Edmund usurps his brother's and his father's wealth and states, 'let me, if not by birth, have land by wit'. The use of rhyming couplets sums up a Machiavellian villain, his actions eventually leading to Gloucester's blindness, 'but I shall see/ The winged Vengeance overtake such children'. The fact that he was betrayed by his own flesh and blood illustrate the extent of the bestial behaviour that some of the characters have succumbed to. Even though Lear's actions lead to disorder and madness, reflected in the apocalyptic nature of the storm and the social frenzy, there is still a seed of goodness in Cordelia's attempt to invade Britain with the French army with the aim to restore the social order and ultimately make Lear the pinnacle of that social hierarchy. ...read more.

Conclusion

Overall, literary techniques are useful in evaluating the dramatic impact in that the extract has the use of metaphor, for example, 'o you are men of stone' is sued within this extract to dramatically contrast between the emotionally charged Lear and the cold world he lives in which leads the audience to sympathy. In addition, linguistic features are useful to some degree, for example phonological features to express Lear's emotions such as the repetition of vowel sounds in 'howl' which powerfully expresses Lear's pain towards the tempest in his mind. This in itself is an effective insight into Lear's unstable mind. As audience, this makes us empathise with is situation and it renews our trust and respect for the old king who was incapable of living in the rapidly changing world around him and to adopt new values and merits about life. ...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

    The influence Act 1 has on the rest of the play in King Lear

    3 star(s)

    For example, King Lear tells Cordelia; 'Nothing will come of nothing: speak again' when he does not hear what he was expecting and desiring to hear. It is right in front of his eyes, and on his tongue, yet still recognised by everyone except himself.

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

    The next event sees Lear as being a tragic father, as the result of him disowning his daughter is that she is almost worthless. By saying "when she was dear to us, we did hold her so; But now her price is fallen", Lear is suggesting that Cordelia was worth

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

    is robbed not only of his royalty but also of the roof over his head, and compelled to feel what the poor, naked wretches of his kingdom feel' (Ryan, 2005, xxxi)

  2. Social injustices in King Lear

    As the play unfolds they realise their mistakes, not only concerning their bad decisions concerning their children but the injustices they created amongst society at large. This highlights the tragedy because a sense of hope is created amongst the readers that the outcome might be positive but because a tragedy

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

    Also, a twist of irony certainly exists in the Fool calling the king a fool. Who would be better to represent the foolishness of the king than a fool? He represents the king's foolishness throughout the play via wit, enthusiasm, and intellect.

  2. King Lear, Femininity and Female Disorder

    The government and natures go awry. The fall and the decline of Lear's kingdom are attributed to female interference in administration therefore chaos and evil are feminised. Sexual disorder and sexual immorality in Lear are more ascribed to the female.

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

    In light of his understanding of redemption, Bradley holds that the struggle to endure our earthly existence is the means whereby we see through its illusions. Consequently, he sees the world as a sort of Purgatory where one is cleansed through suffering, ultimately earning one?s salvation through atonement.

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

    In asking his three daughters to profess their love through competition, itself an act of relative madness, he cannot comprehend Cordelia's aversion to flattery, expecting her to show the same insincerity of her sisters. Again Lear reacts to sense by exiling it, sending Cordelia away.

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