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King Lear - Act 3 Scene 7

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Introduction

King Lear - Act 3 Scene 7 In act three scene seven of the Shakespeare play of King Lear Shakespeare creates a dramatic impact for the audience. Shakespeare creates this impact by using characterisation, language and different ideas. In this scene of the play is the plucking out of Gloucester's eyes. The plucking out of Gloucester's eyes creates a dramatic impact on this scene. In the Elizabethan times, when this play was written, this was a common thing that would have happened. The common punishment for a duke's crime, which Gloucester committed, was beheading. So instead of this looking like an evil action, to an Elizabethan audience this would be entertainment. In the past and present this scene has attracted many people to watch this play, with the features of good against evil which contains blood and violence. Many of the audiences watching this scene feel discomfort watching the plucking out of Gloucester's eyes. The language that is being used by Shakespeare enhances this discomfort. An example of this language is when Gloucester says "In the hell black night", which shows evil in the language, this evil language used by Shakespeare enhances the discomfort of this scene, evil is also shown when Regan had no hesitation when telling Cornwall to pluck out Gloucester's eyes. ...read more.

Middle

Shakespeare uses the theme of eyesight in other parts of the play as well as this, to show foolishness. Gloucester's foolishness is shown when he says, "I stumbled when I saw." Lear's foolishness is shown when he says to Kent "Out of my sight", then Kent says to Lear "see better, Lear" which identifies the lack of Lear's knowledge and again is symbolised by blindness. Shakespeare likes to use blindness to show the foolishness of the characters. Shakespeare shows this in act 3 scene 7 when Cornwall plucks out Gloucester's eyes and after his eyes have been plucked out he realises his foolishness. The manhood of the male actors plays an important part in this scene. This is shown when Regan plucks Gloucester's beard, in the Elizabethan times doing this to someone was an insult, especially if it was a woman who did it to a man. This was an insult because having a beard showed manhood. If a beard of a man was plucked by someone this was showing that the person plucking the beard thought that the person who had his beard plucked is less of a man; this was more insulting if a woman did this to a man. Gloucester takes this as a terrible insult, which is shown when he says, "Naughty lady, these hairs which thou dost ravish from my chin." ...read more.

Conclusion

Lear describes Regan as "tender-hefted", in act 2 scene 4, yet she takes part in barbaric maiming and kills a servant. The theme of this scene is evil, which is shown throughout the scene by Regan and Cornwall. The theme of this scene shocks and disturbs the audience and portrays the evilness of the characters. Regan shows how evil she is in this scene by saying, before killing the servant, "Give me thy sword"; Regan says this without any hesitation or thought. This shows that she has no thought for anyone or anyone's life, which shows how evil she is in this scene. Another theme in this scene is good against evil, which many people find exciting to watch in a play, which may be one of the reasons why King Lear is a very popular Shakespeare play. In act 3 scene 7 the evil language, theme and characters are used, however in the quarts version of the play, this scene closes with two other servants who decide to assist Gloucester and soothe the pain that he received when his eyes were plucked out. In theatres the interval is often placed at the end of this scene because this scene could be used as the end of the play because it is one of the most dramatic scenes of the play. Luke Scowcroft ...read more.

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