Importance Of Self Knowledge In King Lear

1441 Words 6 Pages
Professor Prescott
25 March 2018 Growth through self-knowledge
In King Lear, Shakespeare stresses the importance of self-knowledge and forgiveness. King Lear is a character who lacks self knowledge. However, he begins to learn how the quality is important as he endures through hardships. Lear’s life breaks down slowly after banishing the only daughter who loved him dearly. Lear gives most of his kingship to daughters who are disloyal and care less for his wellbeing. Self knowledge and forgiveness is important in King Lear because it helps Lear grow as a character through recognizing his wrongs and through Cordelia’s healing love. Shakespeare stresses the importance of self-knowledge and forgiveness, when the main character endure hardships
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Lear believed his two eldest daughters loved him the most, however it is Regan who disrespects Lear. Regan states that Lear is too old to know what’s best for him and that he should let others take care of him. L. M. Storozynsky states in King Lear and Chaos, that Lear’s lack of self knowledge caused his self destruction. “He does not see that in breaking up his kingdom, delegating responsibility to others, and divesting himself of all save 'The name and all the additions to a king' (1.128), he reduces his own authority to nothing meaningful. He himself unwittingly predicts: 'So be my grave my peace'.” Shakespeare stresses the importance of self knowledge because he knows it is the key to character development. Lear lacked self knowledge in knowing when people will lie in order to gain something. In this case, Lear’s daughters lied about their love in order to gain land and kingship rights. He believed in the wrong people so he has to face the consequences in order to realize his faults. The importance of self-knowledge is to have the character grow from his mistakes and gain that knowledge in order to know wrong from …show more content…
Shakespeare stresses the importance of self-knowledge, Lear was once blind and believed his eldest daughters truly loved him. Lear banished Cordelia, but through a new regained self-knowledge, he is willing to heal that relationship. The relationship he had with Cordelia was real, and if gained again, Lear would also gain new hope. Lear would gain hope that he is capable of being loved. In Tragedy in ‘King Lear’, William Tamblyn states that “At any rate, we must be convinced that Lear is ‘more sinned against than sinning’ even at that stage of the story where he makes this assertion, and what shall be said of his cruel bereavement after reunion with Cordelia? The Fool insists upon Lear's error as the cause of his mis fortune... He never faintly suggests a fault in Cordelia.” Tamblyn states that Lear is one who suffered through more pain than he inflicted. The Fool believes that since banishing Cordelia, Lear’s life turned bad. Solving the relationship, would heal all wounds. Regaining Cordelia as a daughter again, is Lear’s chance to making what was wrong right again. Lear know he has to gain Cordelia’s love after banishing her from his land. W.F. Blissett states in Recognition in King Lear Chapter, “A new phase of Lear's recognition occurs at the end of the fourth act. Here he achieves such an emptying of self, so perfect a reconciliation with Cordelia, here by the

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