King Lear

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Similar to real life, characters in books and plays have significant flaws. The way those flaws play a part in the character’s life is what sets them apart. The misguided actions and flaws of a character eventually lead to their demise. Shakespeare's tragedy King Lear is a detailed description of the consequences of one man's poor decisions. The man is Lear, King of England, whose decision to divide his kingdom based on which of his children most love him greatly alter his life and the lives of those around him. Shakespeare shows us how one flaw in an otherwise normal person can lead to their ultimate demise. According to critic Northrop Frye, “Tragic heroes are so much the highest points in their human landscape that they seem the inevitable conductors of the power about them, great trees more likely to be struck by lightning that a clump of grass. Conductors may of course be instruments as well as victims of the divisive lightning.” Based on Frye’s criticism about tragic heroes, the character King Lear is the perfect example.

In Frye’s words “Tragic heroes are so much the highest points in their human landscape,” refers to the tragic hero being the one that stands out amongst the other characters. The tragic hero doesn’t see the problem he creates or is given to him which makes him the tragic hero. In Shakespeare’s King Lear, Lear is the tragic hero because he doesn’t see the problems he created by dividing the kingdom amongst his daughters. Lear is a high point in the human landscape just because he is the king in the very beginning making him far more important than the other characters. From the very first act the readers can see blindness he has towards love and loyalty. He chooses to divide the kingdom based on love and when he is oblivious to the real love of Cordelia and Kent he banishes them. Throughout the play, and from act one, Lear is surrounded by, a compliment of people that love him dearly, people who would gladly sacrifice their lives for...
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