William Shakespeare 's King Lear Essay

807 Words Mar 4th, 2016 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 his family. First, his youngest daughter, Cordelia, incites his anger by refusing to overstate her love for him. 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…

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