King Lear "Bottoming Out" Essay

902 Words Dec 2nd, 2012 4 Pages
Unit 3, Lesson 13: Key Question 13
Amanda Oreskovic
When a person “bottoms out” they are at the lowest point in their life both mentally and physically. It is a frightening stage in life that some may come across in life as it gets to the point where existing is almost unbearable. On the upside, this downfall may benefit some. Those who can gather the strength to realize that the only way they can go after hitting bottom is up could use it as a turning point for the better. Unfortunately, there are also many people who just give up the fight against the dark place referred to as “bottom.” Bottoming out is exemplified in William Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear and in Arthur Miller’s equally tragic Death of a Salesman. In order to
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Lear acquires the knowledge that the “Unaccomodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art” (III, iv, 99). He also gained the wisdom of how to forgive Cordelia, and how he can get her to forgive him. He is more humble, forgiving and loving as a beggar because if you are a beggar, you can be the happiest person in the world if you have someone that loves you, despite not having material items.
In Death of a Salesman, Willy never really ended up benefitting from “bottoming out.” He thought there was no way of getting out of the mess he brought on himself, and decided his life was not worth living anymore.
With everything considered, for anyone, hitting rock bottom is a complex and heart-wrenching event. This is further exemplified in the “bottoming out” of the title character is Shakespeare’s play King Lear. Once a powerful king Lear loses everything and descends into madness. Through all the suffering Lear undergoes, it does give him a new sense of wisdom and humility, even if he could only use it for a short while before he died. In Death of a Salesman Willy was one of the unfortunate people who did not see “bottoming out” as an opportunity to change his life, but rather to end it. He was weak-willed and just gave up the battle with the darkness in his

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