King Lear And A Thousand Acres : A Comparison Essay

775 Words Oct 30th, 2015 4 Pages
King Lear and A Thousand Acres: A Comparison William Shakespeare 's tragedy King Lear, originally performed in 1606, chronicles the downfall of a king. Three hundred-eighty-five years later, Jane Smiley published the novel A Thousand Acres which parallels King Lear,with a few exceptions. Both tragedies present the tale of a father who divides what he owns amongst two of his daughters while rejecting the third, who later comes to the father’s aid. In one story the father is a king and in the other a farmer, but these works of literature differ in more than just superficial aspects; they differ in the type of tragedy they are. King Lear contains the elements of a Shakespearean tragedy, such as immense suffering and while A Thousand Acres contains elements of a modern tragedy. The elements of tragedy that these two stories differ on are the suffering of the hero, the feelings of the audience, and the death of the hero. Throughout King Lear, every character experiences a dramatic form of suffering, but none so much as King Lear. In the first act of the play, Lear is told by Cordelia, his favorite daughter, that she does not love him to the extent that he wishes which begins his decline throughout the play. Cordelia’s words suggest that “people are held together by bonds which are necessarily not limitless” and that suggestion “starts Lear on the course that eventually leads him to … destroy all bonds” (Worst of King Lear). After that point, Lear breaks his bonds and is…

Related Documents