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

King Lear Is a Play Based Upon Love, Betrayal and Conflict. Discuss how King Lear’s Role as King of England Deteriorates

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

King Lear Is a Play Based Upon Love, Betrayal and Conflict. Discuss how King Lear's Role as King of England Deteriorates From a King to a Man. Aim During the course of this essay, I will be discussing the role of King Lear and his deterioration from being a King, to becoming a man as a result of Ignorance and Dignity. King Lear is a rather complex character, who was neither all good, nor all unpleasant. He was simply a combination of the two. His role as King places a great deal of stress upon him From the opening chapters of King Lear, one is able to deduce that the Kings role is paramount to that of other characters. Shakespeare portrays King Lear as the dominant character in the first stages of the play. This is obvious especially when the Earl of Kent, someone the King had trusted and respected, intervened over the situation where King Lear banished Cordelia. You can see through the manner in which he spoke to Kent that there was something about the King that was not right, which we assume is caused merely by old age, i.e. his ignorance towards a friend, and even more so his ill-treatment of his youngest daughter Cordelia, who was his joy. Lear: "...Now, our joy..." (Act 1 Sc 1) This is the reference of Cordelia prior to the dilemma, a reference of joy that can only be seen as a most pleasant reference for a father to give to a child, and he also says 'our', from which we assume he is referring to Cordelia as being the joy of her two sisters, as the youngest child. ...read more.

Middle

We also sympathise with Cordelia, as we are able to see her innocence, which Lear cannot, and it is because of this humble and genuine character of Cordelias, that we feel kind-hearted towards her ill treatment. Cordelia: "So young, my Lord, and true". This quote has been extracted to show Cordelia's loyalty, and honesty which she has stated in response to Lears comment, who said she was young and untender. It is also due to Cordelia not having been married, which is another great concern for Lear, who fears the worst for her, especially if his life were to draw to an end. Cordelias' sisters are happily married to their husbands, hence Regan to the Duke of Cornwall, and Goneril to the Duke of Albany. From Cordelia's response, we see a humble personality who is honest and loving. It seems her approach is to Love, and be Silent, in contrast to her sisters, with Cordelia feeling empathy towards the well being of her father. Cordelia is also concerned over the action of her sisters, and feels their hearts were from the lips to deceive their father, which they used to deliver such flattering speeches, which drew such extravagant rewards. Cordelia as the youngest child we assume has had the most attention due to her living with her father, with King Lear as the only guider, which one assumes as there is no mention of her mother during the course of the play. Lear also compares her to her sisters who during the beginning stages of the play are crafty in their approach to convince Lear they truly love him, even more so than their husbands, and from this, Cordelia later made an extremely impressive point stating clearly that if she were to have been married, half of her love would be for her husband. ...read more.

Conclusion

From this quote, we notice he has mentioned the word 'Man', which is what he refers to himself as, in contrast to the prior attitude of King Lear. He also refers to Cordelia as his Child, which is also quite significant as she is matured, a woman, and his reference to her as his 'child' has shown Lear has overcome his ignorance and that he accepts his daughter back so long as she accepts him, of which the love is in abundance. King Lear has learnt to forgive, a proceeding he was previously unable to do. Lear: "Pray you now, forget and forgive: I am old and foolish" Here, he has accepted his guilt, and is able to love his daughter for her true genuine character, which she retained from the time of her banishment. He has accepted his mistake and as a father, he repents against his actions as King, and has recognised the significance of the whole situation. As a concluding statement, we are able to see that King Lear had developed himself from an ignorant self-centred King, to a Man. He faced many experiences during the course of his life. This was a result of Love, which he gained at the end, the Betrayal he faced from his daughters Regan and Goneril, and the conflict he had with other characters in this magnificently structured play, by Shakespeare. King Lear's life ended in tragedy, but it is the achievement of King Lear's reconciliation with his daughter Cordelia, and also his realisation of the treachery of his other two daughters, which I so greatly commend. ?? ?? ?? ?? JAVED-A LAHER ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree 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 University Degree King Lear essays

  1. Kingship and leadership and their absence have major implications in the play King Lear. ...

    Lear thinks of himself as possessing high power and leadership and it is the way in which he refuses to let anyone else express a different view that leads to problems. For example, when Cordelia was asked to express her love for her father, she says she loves him like a daughter should love her father.

  2. An essay on Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.

    It is a terrible thing to listen to a ticking clock, to wonder where time goes and most of all to have to wait. The future is daunting for many of us but knowing that there is an end is at least comforting while we 'struggle' through life's events, its joys, its sorrows, its twisted little turns of fate.

  1. Patriarchy or Matriarchy: Who Has the Real Power in Shakespeare's King Lear?

    Goneril then realizes how cold-blooded she has become and kills herself: two deaths caused out of a bid for power over the same man. Cordelia, though rarely seen throughout the play, also has quite influential power in King Lear. Her confidence and truthfulness is shown when she refuses to express her love in a fabricated manner.

  2. Review and interpretation of King Lear

    She demanded that he reduce his followers to fifty. Lear then went to live with the other daughter, who reduced the number to twenty-five. Lear went back and forth between the daughters until he was alone. Then the third daughter raised an army, defeated the other two, and restored him to his kingdom.

  1. War is Peace: Perceptual and Societal Death and Rebirth in William Shakespeare's, "King Lear.

    In this instance, it happens to work towards Lear's advantage, driving him closer to rebirth. Since Lear is driven to a revival despite these false pretenses, undying loyalty and friendship are portrayed as completely natural occurrences, even if the recipient is blind to them at the time.

  2. King Lear, by William Shakespeare.

    Conversely however, both fathers have evil kin, who plot against them. In the case of Lear, the evil kin are Goneril and Regan; and in the case of Gloucester, there is Edmund.

  1. Human Nature in King Lear

    According to my bond; no more or less? (1.1.90-91). Lear is so vain that he does not realize the truth and rejecting Cordelia, divides his kingdom among his two sisters, Goneril and Regan.

  2. The Role of Gender in Shakespeares King Lear

    Cordelia represents what the standard woman of the Shakespearean times would be, being polite, delicate and innocent, and as such, she was considered the perfect woman and perfect daughter with her solid morals and values. She says of herself, ?So young, my lord, and true,? (1,i, 108)

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