Nature In King Lear

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The Tragedy of King Lear has been a great source of cogitation over the many years since it was written by William Shakespeare. Such thinking may be at variance with or derive from a legion of other interpretations.

In Act 2 Scene 4 we find Lear in ultimate dismay at the betrayal Regan and Cornwall have exhibited to him. Through their treatment of Kent, by putting him in the stocks, Lear takes personal offence claiming “Tis worse than murder.” Order v disorder is apparent within the positions Gonerill, Regan and their husbands employ against their father and King. In Elizabethan times fathers and Kings should always be obeyed yet many characters in the play ignore this fact, shocking Elizabethan audiences. However, the play demonstrates textual
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This significance Lear holds to nature is repeatedly apparent as he curses Gonerill, “All the stored vengeances of heaven fall on her ingrateful top!” This irrational curse displays Lear’s anger and exhibits the theme of emotion over reason which continues to escalate throughout the play towards Lear’s madness. Regan is aware of Lear’s unfounded behaviour noting, “So you will wish on me when the rash mood is on.” Family relationships across time will identify with feelings of frustration that cause one to say hurtful things that they don’t really mean.

Lear’s curse causes nature v disorder to reappear, causing a horrific storm to erupt. I believe this storm reflects the rage and madness brewing in Lear’s mind and the Elizabethan audience would have wholly embraced this notion. However, some modern viewers may have trouble accepting a spiritual connection between nature’s movement and human emotion. By giving away his power, Lear defies the natural order of the time and therefore disrupts
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It is Edmund’s greed and betrayal of Edgar that cause his eventual death. The jealousy between Regan and Gonerill for Edmund’s love proves fatal for both. These unhappy endings are explained by Aristotle’s view of a classic tragedy. However I feel the theme of irony more accurately justifies these events. There is constant mention of the ‘fortune’s wheel’ throughout King Lear which could be contemporarily recognized as the philosophy of kharma. This is supported in the outcome of the play as many of the characters get what they deserve.

I feel some sense of justice is achieved through the evil character’s demise. It is a universal concept that most evil characters in life will meet their true merit in the end, “all shall taste the wages of their virtue, and all foes the cup of their deservings.” Albany’s statement links with the symbolism of the fortune’s wheel and the modern concept of kharma. The analogy means that people will be treated with the same respect and benevolence that they have shown others. This theme is relevant today as Albany’s comment is similar to the contemporary saying that you will ‘get a taste of your own

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