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

How far would you accept Lear's view of himself as a man

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

King Lear How far would you accept Lear's view of himself as a man "more sinned against than sinning"? "King Lear" is a play all about the cruelty of human nature and the ways in which all people, "good" and "bad", can sin, or be sinned against. Lear is a very difficult character to categorise as either "good" or "bad" as he is both "sinned against" and "sinning". It is also very difficult to use these sins as a measure of his character as they a varying in severity. When we first meet Lear he is in the process of dividing his kingdom into three, preparing to hand it to his three daughters. This is a sin, as according to The Divine Right of Kings, each monarch is chosen by God, and is there fore answerable to none but him. Having been chosen by God to rule, it would be wrong for him to surrender his sovereignty. Apart from this, it was incredibly foolish of Lear to give the crown to more than one heir, as it leaves a huge problem of a possible civil war. ...read more.

Middle

However, I feel that they can be forgiven this sin, as their father had left them with little choice, as is shown by his mistreatment of Cordelia. This must be counted as a sin against the King, as Goneril and Regan did lie with vicious intent. Considering that the daughter's sin stemmed from that of the father, we must still consider Lear the greater sinner at this point. Having divided his kingdom, Lear intends to stay with his daughters. This may be considered as imposing on the girls, but Lear is left with very little choice, as he has sent away the daughter he intended to stay with. He is forced to stay with each of his two remaining for alternate months, as Regan reveals and the end of Act 1, Scene 1: "That's most certain, and with you; next month with us." Lear has been, up until this point, fooled by his daughter's feigned love for him, and is genuinely shocked and upset when his daughter's contempt for him is finally revealed. "Does any here know me? ...read more.

Conclusion

However, the fait of Gloucester and Cordelia is very difficult to account for. Lear certainly blames himself. Lear feels particularly guilty about Cordelia's fate. "I might have sav'd her; now she's gone for ever!" Lear was not with Cordelia when she was hanged, and when he arrived it was too late for her, and for this he cannot forgive himself. It is certainly due to Lear that these deaths were allowed to take place, but I think that we must acknowledge Edmund, Goneril and Regan as the sinners in these cases. In conclusion, I feel that, though the King made many foolish and unforgivable mistakes, they all stemmed from one fatal error of judgement; his belief in his daughter's and ally's love and respect for him. He realises his mistakes and shows great remorse. Edmund, Goneril and Regan are the sinners of this play as they were, at all times, aware of the evil of their plots and only seem to regret being found out. I believe that Lear is justified in declaring himself to be "more sinned against than sinning". Word Count - 1204 English Literature. Stephanie Carter. - 2 - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE King Lear essays

  1. King Lear - Lear Exclaims in Act 3 That He is "More Sinned Against ...

    "False of heart, light of ear, bloody of hand; hog in sloth, fox in stealth, wolf in greediness, dog in madness, lion in prey." (3/4/84) Lear, in his ignorance has certainly been guilty of committing a few of these sins.

  2. I am a man more sinned against than sinning King Lear was written ...

    In this act Lear isn't treated like a King by anyone honestly, showing that many people realise that the old man is losing his power and wealth by giving away his land and not actually being a King anymore. Gonerill finally comes out of hiding from her father.

  1. "I am more sinned against than sinner". Discuss

    In this storm he confesses that he is a man more sinned against than sinning and that this storm will reveal the sinners. Here we see him at his most exposed, he is at the bottom of the wheel of fortune as he roams the wilderness waiting for fortune to smile once more.

  2. Explore the Ways in Which Shakespeare Presents the Character of King Lear.

    The character is now torn between a painful awareness of his own dire situation and a delerious fantasy of controlling it: 'Rumble, thy bellyful; spit, fire; spout, rain! Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire are my daughters... Here I stand your slave, a poor, infirm, weak and despised old man' His

  1. Compare and contrast Lear and Macbeth's effectiveness as Kings.

    Initially Lear is seen as a strong ruler. When Lear enters in Scene I he appears with a lot of pomp and ceremony which gives the impression of Lear's authority. He then puts his three daughters to the test, and asks them to tell him how much they love him in front of his court.

  2. "I am a man more sinned against than sinning": III

    It is the first time that Lear has fully reached out with great concern to someone else. In the process, he becomes less of a tyrant and more humanized. Some critics have even argued that this is the main principle of the character of Lear, to illustrate the change of a man.

  1. Character Analyses - King Lear

    Clearly, Edmund's actions are a result of his father's preference-both legal and filial-for Edgar, his older and legitimate son. This favoritism leads to Edmund's plan to destroy his father in an attempt to gain legitimacy and Gloucester's estate.

  2. Explore shakespeare's use of the Renaissance idea of fatalism and imagery linked to the ...

    (Act IV.6.278-80) This shows us that he has suffered through the king, which supports the idea that the characters mirror each other. Gloucester is also genuinely concerned about the dangers the old man and Poor Tom face when helping Lear.

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