Infatuation Of Power In King Lear Analysis

1401 Words 6 Pages
The Infatuation with Power and the Destruction of Self in King Lear An ambitious nature is one of which is common within various characters in William Shakespeare’s plays. It describes an individual of whom holds earnest desires, be it for power, fame, wealth or honour. It is often that these characters are linked with destruction and it is particularly evident in William Shakespeare’s King Lear. Within the tragedy, it is the infatuation of power which leads to the destruction of self. This degeneration of character is most notably seen in King Lear himself, as well as in the base Edmund. There are various forms of destruction that can occur for a character. For King Lear, his destruction of self is rooted deeply in both mental and physical …show more content…
His first foolish decision comes from the fact that he wishes to give away his kingdom. “Lear’s plan to divide his country and retire indicates that his judgement is flawed”4 as “to Shakespeare’s audience, such an announcement – dividing up the country – would have been horrifying, a vivisection of the body politic, a violation of cosmic order, denial of primogeniture, and a certain prelude to civil war.”5 For Lear to make such a decision clearly shows how foolish he is becoming by his desire to “[abdicate] his responsibility as king, choosing personal comfort over public duty.”6 Beyond this, Lear’s foolishness is also demonstrated in his decision to banish Kent and his most loving daughter. “Lear’s egocentricity blinds him to the truth of his one loyal daughter, Cordelia, and Kent, his one loyal knight, making them appear to him the very opposite of what they are.”7 Despite Kent going so far as to speak up “when majesty falls to folly,”8 he becomes but another casualty to the king’s …show more content…
With each’s infatuation with power, despite “Edmund’s wants [having] grown while Lear’s [having] shrunk,”22 the end result is the same: the destruction of self in various aspects. For Lear, his destruction of self comes through mental and physical aspects; he recedes in mind and is destroyed in physical being. For Edmund, his destruction of self comes through moral and physical features; he loses his sense of morality and ethics and similar to Lear, is subject to complete destruction of his physical existence. Through the characters thus, King Lear presents the idea that with each who commits the deadly sin of a lust for power, evidently what awaits is naught but the destruction of

Related Documents