Literary Analysis And Literary Betrayal In Shakespeare's King Lear

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The Analysis and literary devices of King Lear King Lear is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare that is widely regarded as his best play. The true history of the play is mostly unknown, however, historians propose “The play was written between 1603 and 1606, and was first performed on St. Stephen’s day (December 26th) at King James’s court” (Rosenblum 786). While it’s up for debate what the primary source for King Lear was, there was many different sources that Shakespeare could have used to contribute to the play. The most well-known source, The True Chronicle History of King Leir, and His Three Daughters, is what most scholars consider to be the primary source since it is the most similar to King Lear. The anonymous play was written …show more content…
James Cook said, “Betrayal is prevalent in King Lear, leading to much of the madness and villainy later in the play” (Cook). The first act of betrayal in the play is Regan and Goneril tricking Lear into giving more land and power to the sisters. This betrayal leads to political controversy and later lays the foundation for most of the conflicts later in the play. Another act of betrayal is between brothers, Edmund and Edgar. Edmund tricks his father, Gloucester, into thinking Edgar is conspiring to kill him. This leads to Gloucester casting his older, legitimate son out, leaving the inheritance to Edmund. Another prevailing theme in King Lear is justice. After all the betrayal, violence, and disobedience in the play, the biblical term “you reap what you sow” truly takes on another meaning. One instance of justice in the play is the fate of Goneril, Regan, and Edmund. After all betraying their own family, each suffers violent deaths. Regan dies from Goneril’s poison, Goneril kills herself, and Edmund dies in a sword fight by an anonymous champion. A rather sad instance of justice is the plot of Lear. After becoming selfish in his elder years, he banishes his loving daughter, Cordelia, when she did not profess her love to him in a manner he liked. Though Lear did change for the better later in the play, the damage had already been done. After …show more content…
While some argue whether if it is truly present or not, Christianity is the most agreed upon allusion used in King Lear. A Famous priest Roy Battenhouse, “wrote a famous essay on King Lear from a Christian perspective, and this caught the eye of many scholars and led to Battenhouse being praised for his analysis” (Boyce 325). The primary source Battenhouse used was the parallel between the story of Job and the primary plot of King Lear. Bottenhouse also believed that, when Edgar spoke of his religious view, he spoke of the Christian God. This is because Edgar said that he “believed in a benevolent God” (Rosenblum 817). Also, the sufferings of Lear and Gloucester could be compared to the punishment for sins by God. Counter to Bottenhouse, another critic by the name of William Elton rejected the Christian perspective. He argued that both Gloucester and Edmund did not believe in a Christian God. Gloucester references multiple Gods that he claims to be malevolent forces that despise humans. Edmund claims “that the universe is amoral, without any spiritual significance” (Rosenblum

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