King Lear Vs A Thousand Acres Analysis

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The famous Shakespearean tragedy King Lear depicts King Lear of Britain’s rollercoaster path from foolishness to wisdom and his eventual tragic downfall. Lear divides his kingdom amongst his three daughters: Cordelia who is banished for not correctly expressing her love for the King, and Goneril and Regan who turn against him in order to gain more power. Likewise, Jane Smiley’s A Thousand Acres tells a tale molded around King Lear where the owner of a 1000-acre farm named Larry agrees to hand it down to his daughters, Rose, Ginny, and Caroline, in joint ownership but ends up keeping Caroline out of the agreement while the other two turn against him. Although the parallels are apparent between both works, there are also blatant differences …show more content…
When compared to the Shakespearean tragedy King Lear, Jane Smiley’s A Thousand Acres presents numerous similarities and differences that are exhibited through the character development of both pieces and their effect on the present …show more content…
The tale of King Lear begins with the profession of love from the three daughters to Lear in a peaceful competition for control of his kingdom. Although the idea seems harmless and fair for a division of land, Lear’s foolishness makes him oblivious to the falsehood behind Regan and Goneril’s professions. Ironically, he ends up accepting their pleads and banishing Cordelia from his kingdom for not being able to put her immense and true amount of love for him in words. Evidence of the reality that Lear is blind to is where Cordelia states, “Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave / My heart into my mouth. I love your Majesty / According to my bond, no more nor less” (I. i. 100-102). Lear ensures that Cordelia is true to her word and then proceeds to banish her through his blindness and inability to see the truth. Despite being disowned as well, Caroline in A Thousand Acres does not express full love for Larry. Her only source of compassion comes from the fact that she has not experienced his dark side. Like Lear to his daughters, Caroline falls victim to the misconception that her father is a good person and truly loves her. This is evident where the novel reads, “Did I really have to be saved from Daddy? From my own father?” (Smiley, 245). Ginny and Rose act as Caroline’s

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