The Wise Fool By Erasmus Is Someone Who Can See Past The Chaos Of The Material World

1700 Words Dec 10th, 2014 null Page
The wise fool described by Erasmus is someone who can see past the chaos of the material world and find greater truths in their madness. Characters within King Lear that exhibit the qualities of the wise fool: selflessness and loyalty, in their search for the truth and the treatment of others, find greater clarity in their decision-making, a factor crucial to their standing at the climax of the work. The characters may be classified into two categories, those who stay loyal to Lear through his descent into madness, and those betray him in their schemes of self-interest. Members of each category face similar situations and react differently based on allegiances and ambitions. The first comparison to examine is between Regan’s avoidance of, and Kent’s unshakable loyalty to, King Lear. Similarly, Edmunds manipulative tendencies leave his final wish unfulfilled in contrast to the timely action of Albany that leaves him in a position to rule the kingdom. These two pairs of characters face situations in which there wise qualities or lack thereof determine their standing at the end of the work.
Regan’s egocentric mindset within the first two acts of the play foreshadows how her selfishness is to be repaid with shame and a death outside of her control. Regan’s disrespectful and inconsiderate behavior when interacting with her father is an outward product of this inner selfishness; a night and day comparison to resilient selflessness of Kent. Regan is greedy to attain her father’s…

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