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'I am a man more sinned against than sinning to what extent do you agree with Lear's statement above? Discuss Lear's role in the play and explore his journey from tyrant to humanity to death.

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Introduction

'I am a man more sinned against than sinning to what extent do you agree with Lear's statement above? Discuss Lear's role in the play and explore his journey from tyrant to humanity to death. Shakespeare's ultimate Tragedy, King Lear, is indeed a dark and soul-harrowing play. The tragic madness of King Lear, and of the subsequent turmoil that follows from it, is all the more terrible for the king's inability to cope with the loss of his mind, his family, and his pride. This descent into horror culminates at the tragic conclusion, where both the innocent and the guilty die for other's mistakes and lack of judgment. Lear declares that he is 'more sinn'd against than sinning' (Act3, Scene2, Lines 59-60) 1, and Cordelia is seen very much as a figure of sacrifice. Both Lear and Gloucester must suffer to an extreme degree before they can come to terms with their lives, and their faults; and through their suffering, they gain understanding, and ultimately forgiveness from Cordelia (for Lear) ...read more.

Middle

Combined with his pride, age, and subconscious fear of encroaching mortality, Lear has a great desire for flattery, and more importantly, to have the love of his children reaffirmed before him. After the two first daughters inflate his ego, Cordelia is left in the unenviable position of trying to surpass them. She too will not, can not, bring herself to do so. This comes as a terrible blow to the king. Cordelia, the daughter he respected and loved the most, suddenly refuses to show any signs of her own affection. Fury envelops him: "Here I disclaim all my paternal care, Propinquity and property of blood, And as a stranger to my heart and me Hold thee from this for ever." (Act 1, Scene 1 Lines113-115) He exclaims, disowning his loving daughter. Unable to balance between his need for respect and his great love for his daughter, he succumbs to the madness that has threatened to overwhelm him. Unfortunately, Kent then steps in, far too early after Lear's proclamation. ...read more.

Conclusion

King Lear is definitely much more sinned against than sinning. So in conclusion I may say that although he may have had nothing but good intentions, his foolishness and blindness brought all the humility and hardship down upon himself. Interpretation on whether Lear learnt his lesson is mainly up to the reader and in my eyes, Lear learnt his lesson, the hard way and even though he may be portrayed as the villain who banished Cordelia the real villains are his 2 daughters [Regan and Goneril] who started the 'ball' of lies, pain, hardship rolling. Answering the question yes I do believe that Lear is a 'Man more sinned against than sinning.' Because Lear suffers throughout the play from humility and this in turn makes us feel sorrier for a man who was once one of the most respected and powerful figureheads in Britain and gradually has all respect, authority and sanity stripped from him. Lear loses everything. His kingdom, his Fool, his three daughters and his own life. ' Come not between the dragon and his wrath.' Unfortunately, the wrath was too strong for even the dragon himself. ...read more.

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