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

    Macbeth says "It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood". Here, Macbeth has recognised that justice will prevail in the end. However, this doesn't stop him from continuing to be merciless. "Seize upon Fife; give to the edge of the sword His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate

  2. Character Analyses - King Lear

    Throughout King Lear, the audience has witnessed Edmund's growing success as a reward for his evil machinations. But when Edgar and Edmund meet in Act V, the duel between these two brothers is very different from the traditional match for sport.

  1. '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.

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

    The imagery of sight also focuses our attention to the theme of power. Ironically it is those characters with the least amount of power who appear to have the best sight. At the start of the play, when Lear had power over the whole kingdom, his sight was poor and

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

    Then Lear can't believe his eyes after telling Regan of all Gonerill's terrible attributes, Gonerill arrives and Regan joins hands showing a physical manifestation of the sister's alliance. Lear now realises that the pair of them are in cahoots

  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. Explore shakespeare's use of the Renaissance idea of fatalism and imagery linked to the ...

    Turning himself into a slave to nature allows us to see his bitterness through his repetition of 'base' and 'bastardy', which he uses to describe himself as he thinks this is how he is seen. Shakespeare uses this. to emphasise Edmund's unnaturalness, as in the Renaissance period it would have

  2. It can be argued that the central concern of King Lear is the nature ...

    He also suggests that the feeble are more given to anger than the strong, and old men rather than the young. Other thinkers, contemporary with Shakespeare, such as Newton, emphasised also the pride that precedes anger and the shame that succeeds it.

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