'I Am a Man More Sinned Against Than Sinning'. to What Extent Does the Character King Lear Suffer Out of All Proportions to His Initial Transgressions?

Topics: Suffering, Seven deadly sins, King Lear Pages: 4 (1497 words) Published: March 5, 2013
'I am a man more sinned against than sinning'. To what extent does the character King Lear suffer out of all proportions to his initial transgressions?

There would be two different opinions on whether or not King Lear deserved what had happened to him. First, I think I should mention the ways that King Lear suffered. There were evident levels of emotional and physical suffering. From an emotional perspective, Lear discovers that he is hated by his own daughters, which would be a terrible experience for a father. Not only is Lear hated by Goneril and Regan, they are also plotting to kill him. This would be emotionally damaging for any father. Also from a physical perspective, Lear gets kicked out of his kingdom to live in what is referred to as a 'hovel', a hovel being an old wretched hut.

Before you go into the outcomes, you have to ask why it happened.

King Lear made very bad mistakes at the beginning of the play. His first mistake, which happens in act 1 scene 1, is when he divides his kingdom. However, he did give reasoning for this. King Lear is around 80-85 years old, and at that point in history he was living far beyond the life expectancy. King Lear knew he was getting old, so his reason for dividing his kingdom was so he could ' unburdened crawl toward death'. This means that he is tired and he doesn't want the responsibility or the effort of being the king any more. However, he still wants the perks that come with it, and giving his kingdom to his children should allow him to have those perks still. This would be a sin, one of the 7 deadly sins actually, being greed. Also, in the same scene, Lear is trying to decide what parts of his kingdom he will give to which children. He tries to quantify the love from his 3 daughters by asking them how much they love him. This is a sin in itself, although Shakespeare doesn't go into the 'quantifying love' sin in too much detail, however there is another instance where Lear says “And though art twice her...
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