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King Lear Act 2, Scene 4, Lines 212 - 81.

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Introduction

King Lear Act 2, Scene 4, Lines 212 - 81 "O Fool, I shall go mad!" (II.iv.281) This is generally an understatement from what he has done throughout this play, with the first mad thing being giving up his power and land and splitting it between his two daughters and banning the other. The quote is said after Goneril and Regan try to take away Lear's power by taking away his knights and is on the last line of the extract that is being analysed. Before this extract, the situation between Goneril, Regan and Lear is Lear goes to stay with Goneril with his one hundred knights and Goneril gets annoyed as he tries to control the land that he has given away. After he comes back from hunting, Goneril tells Oswald that she doesn't want to see him and tells the servants to say that she is ill and to ignore Lear, this is because of the problem that Lear is causing Goneril and her household. When Oswald comes in contact with Lear, he ignores him and then they argue, Goneril then comes out and says that she thought it would be a good idea about moving from place to place but now she doesn't, this is the start of taking away Lear's power and the respect that he gets from his daughters. ...read more.

Middle

He then goes on to say we would be no different from animals if we did not have the essentials in life and he also needs them to show how important he his and so that he still has power over somebody. When Regan and Goneril refuse Lear his servants they also refuse their father of the essential power to be king and what he needs to separate him from the animals. Lear's attitude changes slightly during this extract, at the beginning of it, he says "do not make me mad" (II.iv.216), but he is already mad from how his daughters are treating him, at the beginning he has a sarcastic attitude, saying "I will not trouble thee, my child; farewell" (II.iv.217), meaning that he will leave them to do what they want, even though they are family. As the extract goes on, Lear gets angrier and angrier from what his daughters are saying with Regan saying "And in good time you gave it" (II.iv.248) Being sarcastic after Lear said, "I gave you all-" (II.iv.248), where he is talking about the land that he gave his daughters. Lear is the only one using metaphors and his does this to make his daughters seem worse than they are, the first metaphor that Lear uses is when he says "thou art a boil, a plague-sore" (II.iv.221), where he describing what Goneril is like, by saying that Goneril is a pain, something you would hate to have and is also an eyesore. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thy fifty yet doth double five-and-twenty, And thou are twice her love" (II.4.253-255). The moral of this story that Shakespeare could be trying to get across is that you should honour and respect you father even if they have done wrong, they can be forgiven. There could be many intentions that Shakespeare is trying to show us, it could be that he wants the show us how some people treat each other and how they exploit one another to get what they want and how they do anything to get it. It can also show how much power that some people want and how so many people want it and one little incident can switch the whole view around and a person loses all of their power. The audience's reaction to what has happened would be a shock, as they would never have thought that Goneril and Regan would overthrow their father and treat him as if he is a senile old man who doesn't know what he is doing. Anyone would be shocked if they found out a child was taking away the power of their parents even if it is a civilian in the modern day. As Goneril, Regan and Lear are a Royal Family, it makes it seem much worse as they have followers who respect them and what they do just like people do to the Royal Family today. Russell Marett ...read more.

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