Theme Of Distortion In King Lear

807 Words 4 Pages
Distortion makes people see more than literary realism does because distortion catches the reader’s eye and holds it. Distortion can come in many forms. One form of distortion is overemphasis. William Shakespeare distorts feelings and emotions in his play King Lear by making them excessive. Characters feel deeper and react quicker, usually in response to those hurt feelings. King Lear exaggerates feelings and violence to further the effectiveness of the themes of betrayal and familial problems.
Hate and jealousy seem to be Lear’s most frequent emotions. He rages excessively throughout the play due to these emotions. He rages with consistency, but the focus changes from one target to the next. Lear’s hatred and jealousy burn from betrayal by
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Her own father slanders her in a vicious manner for this one small act. Lear overreacts and exiles Cordelia, cutting her out of his will. Cordelia’s minimal betrayal manifests into something much bigger by Lear’s reaction. This overemphasis makes the betrayal into its own being which takes over much of the beginning. Then, Lear divvies up his kingdom between his remaining daughters, Goneril and Regan. The two grown women turn Lear’s fiery anger onto themselves by accident. Goneril and Regan begin to take Lear’s control from him and diminish his entourage. A man’s army represented the extent of his power in Lear’s time, so here were his own daughters stripping him of his power. Once more, Lear reacts wildly. He runs away from his daughters, cursing them with both foul language and an actual curse. Distortion runs rampant through the rage of hatred and jealousy Lear feels towards his daughters. Shakespeare overemphasizes Lear’s emotions to show how …show more content…
Switching focus but never dulling down, violence pops up sporadically through the work. Much of the overemphasized violence is due to familial problems. The father Earl of Gloucester places all his faith into one of his sons, Edmund, and pushes the other, Edgar, away. Then, the supposedly faithful son, Edmund, betrays his own father. Edmund wants Gloucester’s lands and money and wants Edgar and his father dead. This problem of loyalty soon turns bloody. Regan and her husband, the Duke of Cornwall, are in league with Edmund and they torture Gloucester. The two pluck out both of Gloucester’s eyes, leaving him blind and helpless. That is when he realizes Edgar was true and Edmund was a liar. The clear family picture is only revealed to him due to the violence of Edmund and his peers. Later, Edgar, the exiled son, takes revenge upon Edmund and stabs him. Edmund dies of the wound. Violence resolved a family dispute by removing the root of all the problems that plagued the family -- Edmund. The violence within the family is consistent, only the focus changes from the deceived, Gloucester, to his deceiver, Edmund. The theme of broken and repaired familial ties is woven into these scenes with violence. The brothers fight each other for different reasons, but both reasons connect to their one tie; their father. Edmund fights for the wealth and lands of his father, but he despises family ties because he is a bastard son and thus is

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