The Tragedy Of King Lear Essay

1004 Words Jul 29th, 2015 5 Pages
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 integrity in this case as modern viewers can identify with the notion of challenging authority. I view the play as a triumph over traditional, societal structures.

Regan and Cornwall illustrate an abuse of power when they refuse to speak to Lear and when they reprimand Lear’s army. Again I believe this applies universally today by dictatorship governments that disregard their people’s wants and needs. After hearing of Regan and Cornwall’s refusal, the King in his rage, prepares to “Tell the hot duke that-” before cutting himself short trying to rationalize Cornwall’s behaviour. Lear’s vacillation emerges to show audiences the gradual process of his madness. It is ironic that it is Lear’s abuse of power that has lead to these events…

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