• 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' III.2.59-60 To what extent do ...

    and too concerned with his own sense of importance, was blind to the reality of the situation. However true this may be, it is also possible to say that we can in fact, at times identify and sympathise with Lear as he progresses down the path of self discovery and rejuvenation.

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

    'There's a great abatement of kindness appears as well in the general dependants as In the duke himself also, and your daughter'. Then we see Oswald showing disrespect and treating the king like a normal peasant. Lear: 'You, your sirrah where's my daughter' Oswald: 'So please you-' Then when Lear

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

    - stain my man's cheeks' In this request Lear is shown to be a broken man: he needs divine intervention to prevent himself from breaking down in tears, such is his emotional instability. Shakespeare portrays Lear's inablity to comply with the realities of the new kingdom in a speech which the character makes against his daughter Gonerill.

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

    It is ironic that the one who had "nothing" to offer to him at the start comes back to pay heed to her estranged father. Even Goneril and Regan do not understand why he seems so happy.

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

    In contrast to King Lear, who chooses to give up his throne, Macbeth seizes the throne from Duncan who is the legitimate King anointed by God. "I am settled, and bend up Each corporal agent to this terrible feat" Both Macbeth and Lear reject the law of the Divine Right of Kings.

  1. Character Analyses - King Lear

    Edmund is as much Gloucester's son as is Edgar. In embracing the man-made laws that reject Edmund's legal rights, Gloucester is denying natural laws that would make Edmund and Edgar equal. Gloucester also acts against nature in rejecting Edgar without sufficient proof of his wrongdoing; thus Gloucester shares responsibility for the actions that follow, just as Lear's love test results in his rejection of Cordelia.

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

    Perhaps he is not more sinned against than sinning because it is undeniable that he has created his own problem. The Fool suggests this to Lear: - "When thou gavest them the rod and puttest down thine own breeches" As well as Goneril and Regan, there are other characters that

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