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

Response to Shakespeare - King Lear.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Response to Shakespeare Clare Bray It is undoubtable that the play of King Lear is predominately of evil, which is ultimately overcome by the forces of good. There are many variations of evil depicted in this play among them are greed, violence, hatred, madness, betrayal, avarice and envy. The most prominent form of evil, and one of the earliest in the play, is greed. Gonerill, the oldest daughter, introduces this firstly after Lear stated that due to old age he was worn out and wanted to leave the affairs of his kingdom to 'younger strengths' so that he might have time to prepare for death. To do this he divided his kingdom into three, and that each third would be a dowry, one for each of his three daughters, he then asks Gonerill how much she loves him. Gonerill, realising that because of Lear's infirmity in old age, she would be well rewarded on giving the right answer, replies saying that she loves her father more than she can say and more than anything else including her own freedom: "Dearer than eyesight, space, and liberty." ...read more.

Middle

I disclaim all my paternal care, Propinquity and property of blood, And as a stranger to my heart and me Hold thee from this forever." (1.1.113/116) "With my two daughters' dowers digest the third. Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her." (1.1.128/129) He also presented the Duke of Albany and the Duke of Cornwall with a `coronet` between them along with the power that it retained: "Beloved sons, be yours; which to confirm, This coronet between you." (1.1.138/139) Lears madness is also apparent when Kent, Lear's most loyal and trusted friend, tried to intervene and spoke up for Cordelia saying quite literally that Lear was mad and needed saving from himself and that Gonerill and Regan had empty hearts and did not love their father like they claimed. "Be Kent unmannerly When Lear is mad. What wouldst thou do, old man?" (1.1.145/146) "Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least, Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sounds Reverb no hollowness." (1.1.152/154) Lear's anger grew and he turned on Kent showing us yet another evil, violence, threatening Kent's life if he said more: "Kent, on thy life, no more!" ...read more.

Conclusion

Shakespeare also used another topic of general interest to the Elizabethans; he makes a referral to disease. This was because during the Elizabethan era the bubonic plague was rife and as a result the playhouses often had to be shut down in order to stop the spread of the disease when someone with the plague had been there: "Kill thy physician and thy fee bestow Upon the foul disease." (1.1.163/164) Among the various evils illustrated in the play of King Lear I believe that greed is not only the most prominent but also the most important to the complete work. Without the evil of greed Lear would never have expressed such anger and hatred at his daughters, Cordelia would never have been disinherited and finally killed and Kent, Lear's most faithful friend would never have been banished. Thus many of the other evils in the play were introduced as a result of the greed, Lear's madness also played an important part in this as his infirmity caused him to be unable to notice the truth about his daughters feelings for him. In addition to this, the language that was used by Shakespeare brought Lear's speeches to life and to memade them all the more powerful. 1 1 ...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. 'I am a man more sinned against than sinning' III.2.59-60 To what extent do ...

    We begin to share his outrage at Goneril and Regan, for their behaviour towards him. His arguments with Goneril in Scene 4 are not the egotistic ravings witnessed in scene one, but rather arguments of desperation and weakness, impotence rather than authority.

  2. Character Analyses - King Lear

    Character Analyses Oswald Oswald, Goneril's steward, is a willing accomplice to Goneril's plotting and a henchman without honor. Oswald adds to this negative perception by failing to defend himself against Kent's attack and by lying that he spared Kent's life because Kent is an old man.

  1. Do you agree that Shakespeare was a product of his time whose plays have ...

    where death could come unexpectedly, often violently, at any time, and that therefore much of the meaning may be lost to a modern audience. "Whatever the reason, posterity's opinion meant a great deal more in Shakespeare's day than it does in ours, and a good name after death was more important than a good life beforehand.

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

    Any action they took was meant to strengthen the country. Both Lear and Macbeth show they don't serve their people and country and their actions weaken their Kingdom by bringing chaos and disorder. Initially Lear is seen as a strong ruler.

  1. A Consideration of the way Shakespeare presents and develops the theme of blindness in ...

    In the first act, the audience views Lear as a tyrannical patriarch and a demanding child. This is necessary, as later in the play we will see his character develop, and Shakespeare will reveal his better qualities. This will allow us to sympathise with him, making the play more tragic.

  2. Explore how Shakespeare shapes the audience's response to Lear throughout the course of the ...

    This symbolises the weak bond between Lear and his daughters. Shakespeare presents Lear to be an unnatural father in the way that he values a flattering public display of love over real love. Shakespeare conveys the message to the audience that Lear is blind to the truth during the speeches

  1. How is madness seen in King Lear?

    (Act 1 scene 1) Regans remark that sums up the play's central pivot-that Lear does not know what he really wants, or who he really is. Being King has meant that Lear has played a particular r�le in life, but when he gives this up he is forced to try to discover whom he really is.

  2. Shakespear's ‘King Lear’ is a tragic play consisting of evil and malevolence in 17th ...

    Shakespeare then uses extreme language to show how Lear's anger is growing by using the words 'barbarous scythian'. Lear describes himself as a dragon and what he is doing as his wrath. "Do not come between the dragon and his wrath".

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