King Lear Power Corrupts Essay

1233 Words Nov 23rd, 2015 5 Pages
King Lear; Power Corrupts Absolutely For years, power has been known to blind people from what really matters in life; it can lead to the demise of a person if it is not used responsibly. Shakespeare’s King Lear demonstrates how, because it is a sign of dominance and control, power becomes the poison behind the character’s actions. The lengths they are willing to go to in order to obtain this power are the cause of their problems. The play takes place in an era of hierarchy, where everyone has a societal role. Power’s intoxicating influences the characters to act rashly, disregard the feelings and opinions of others, betray one another, and break tradition. It is for these reasons, and because power is so enticing, that it becomes …show more content…
Edmund was labeled the bastard child from birth because he was born out of wedlock. His mother was considered a whore, and Edmund was unfortunate enough to be the illegitimate child. Looked down upon by his society, it was unfathomable to him why he was seen as such a negative, unpleasant and despicable person, “For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines/ Lag of a brother? Why ‘bastard’? Wherefore ‘base’/ When my dimensions are as well compact/ my mind as generous, and my shape as true/ As honest madam’s issue? Why brand they us with/ ‘base’, with baseness, bastardy, base, base” (I.ii.5-15). Edmund’s desire for love and acceptance is also a desire to be considered an equal and not just a ‘bastard’. Edmund wanted what Edgar was soon to obtain so desperately that he was willing to sabotage his beloved brother and lie to his father. He goes as far as writing a note talking about his father Gloucester that shows his brother Edgar’s disloyalty:
This policy and reverence of age makes the world bitter to the best of our times, keeps our fortunes from us till our oldness cannot relish them./ I begin to find an idle and fond bondage in the oppression of aged tyranny, who sways not as it hath power but as it is suffered (I.ii.45-51). This letter demonstrates how Edmund truly feels, and how his frustrations fuels his need for power so he can break the label society placed upon him. His own anger and sadness

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