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

Lears tragic fall proceeds from his misuse of power in Act 1

Extracts from this document...


Lears tragic fall proceeds from his misuse of power in Act 1, Scene 1 In Act 1, Scene 1 or King Lear Shakespeare shows Lear attempting to divide up his kingdom between his three daughters yet still wanting to keep the status of King and also keep his authority whilst not having the responsibility of caring after the peoples or the lands. Lear has decided to split his kingdom up between his three daughters and says 'which of you shall love us most, that we our largest bounty may extend,' this shows his plans to hold the love test where his daughters must profess to Lear the extent of their love for him. The daughter who says they love Lear the most will be given the most bountiful and therefore best share of the lands. Gonerill must speak first professing in a rehearsed way that she loves Lear 'more than word can wield the matter,' thus saying she loves her father so much that it is impossible for her to convey it in words, yet she continues to say that he is 'dearer than eyesight, space and liberty,' thus saying that he means everything top her. ...read more.


how he wishes her to, in contrast it can also be seen as him giving her a second chance as he wants her to say she loves him out of duty and simple practise in order to release the last third of his kingdom. The following actions of Lear show how he misuses his power, he says to Cordelia 'but goes thy heart with this' giving her a further chance to just say that she does love him trying to force her to say it threatening with his power. The following hyperbolic speech Lear makes in anger where his anguish and anger is shown by his constant change from the regal 1st person plural speech to 1st person singular. He misuses his power to 'disclaim all ... parental care' over Cordelia in his anger, as he overreacts to her unwillingness to lie to him about her love. He now classes her as his 'sometime daughter' showing that he now no longer thinks of her as a daughter. HE further abuses his power in the way he dismisses the injections of Kent to try and help him on line 115 by use of an Imperative 'Peace Kent' followed by the metaphor of 'come not between the dragon and his wrath.' ...read more.


In conclusion it is clear that Lear does misuse his power initially in holding the love test, it is quite clearly a psychological game in which Lear just wants to hear the words behind the flattery and not actually notice any sincerity in their meanings. He carries on however to demand an answer from Cordelia showing that he it trying to bully her into saying she loves him. Later however having denied Cordelia of any dowry splits the Kingdom between Gonerill and Regan, leaving him from that point owning no land, yet he then proceeds to banish Kent from "his" kingdom which technically does not exist, this is clearly a misuse of the remnants of power that he still has and the short tempered way he reacts to the comments of Kent and Cordelia by saying that he loved Cordelia most but is now banishing her would make his other daughter whom now have power bitter at the lack of love they receive from their father, in my opinion the fall of Lear proceeds from the way he gives all his power to Gonerill and Regan but then progressing to offending them by saying he loves Cordelia more. Sam Knight ...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 Criticism & Comparison 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 Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    Kip / Kirpal Singh: Kirpal Singh is a "sapper" (soldier) for the British, and works in demining and bomb defusion. He found a mentor in Lord Suffolk, but when Lord Suffolk died in a bomb explosion, he, like Hana, turned inwards.

  2. madness through king lear, the fool and edgar

    Eventually, the beleaguered king's rages become signs of impotence, not authority, emphasising the fact that the patriarch's insanity has left him powerless and increasingly vulnerable. When the storm starts we recognise that Lear's fear that he would go mad, first voiced in Act I Scene 4, has been realised.

  1. Translations and Things Fall Apart, examine how Friel and Achebe present the issue of ...

    clearly chosen English as a medium to address linguistic imperialism (using the tool of colonialism against the colonialists). Achebe has been highly criticised for writing in English. Ngugi wa Thiong'o criticised African authors who chose English over their native tongue to write in.

  2. Compare and Contrast the presentation on Edmund and Edgar in Sheakespeare's King Lear

    Shakespeare writes a soliloquy for both Edmund and Edgar within the duration of the first two acts, the contrast between the siblings is established through these soliloquies. The soliloquies reveal significant information about each character. Both speeches are very passionate and both Edmund and Edgar are talking about adopting a new 'shape', a new persona.

  1. Dr Faustus and The Man Who Would Be King on Power

    Practical Jokes Once he gains his awesome powers, Faustus does not use them to do great deeds. Instead, he delights in playing tricks on people: he makes horns sprout from the knight's head and sells the horse-courser an enchanted horse.

  2. Are Willy Loman and Oedipus Rex true tragic heroes?

    The audience can see a glimpse of arrogance and vanity, when he says 'Whose fame is known to all' but to contemporary Greeks pride was not at all a weakness. However, to a modern audience, Oedipus would seem arrogant here, and this perhaps shows a more unappealing side to humanity.

  1. Compare and contrast the writers presentation of conflict and power between men and women ...

    ?King Lear? is in the form of a play, where speech is a main aspect. Notably the daughters speeches to Lear, particularly those of Goneril and Regan, present authority and greed, ?I am made of that self-mettle?? proving to Lear, Regan is ?made? of gold or silver, as she begs Lear with her ?highness? love?.

  2. Write about the ways Shakespeare explores different characters experiences of love in Act 1, ...

    Another aspect which affects the way the main protagonists in ?Romeo and Juliet? and ?Richard III? experience love is the setting. The pastoral, heavenly setting in the ?Capulets orchard from act 2, scene 2 in Romeo and Juliet is very natural and romantic because from the Christian connotations it is similar to the Garden of Eden.

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