King Lear - Disruption of Order in King Lear and the Causes

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Shakespeare's King Lear is a play which shows the consequences of one man's decisions. The audience follows the main character, Lear, as he makes decisions that disrupt order in his Kingdom. When Lear surrenders all his power and land to his daughters as a reward for their demonstration of love towards him, the breakdown on order in evident. Lear's first mistake is to divide his Kingdom into three parts. A Kingdom is run best under one ruler as only one decision is made without contradiction. Another indication that order is disrupted is the separation of Lear's family. Lear's inability to control his anger causes him to banish his youngest daughter, Cordelia, and loyal servant, Kent. This foolish act causes Lear to become vulnerable to his other two daughters as they conspire against him. Lastly, the transfer of power from Lear to his eldest and middle daughter, Goneril and Regan, reveals disorder as a result of the division of the Kingdom. A Kingdom without order is a Kingdom in chaos. When order is disrupted in King Lear, the audience witnesses chaotic events that Lear endures, eventually learning who truly loves him.

At the start of the play, Lear decides to divide his Kingdom into three.

Give me the map there. Know we have divided

In three our Kingdom and ‘tis our fast intent to

Shake all cares and business from our age.

(I,i,37-39)

This is the first indication that order is disrupted. Dividing up a Kingdom politically has many disadvantages that Lear does not realize. A Kingdom divided mens there will be more than one ruler and a difference of opinion will occur. There will always be disagreements and arguments which may end in haste, creating tension between the rulers. Also, the pieces of land will eventually have to be divided again as generations pass, which allows for easy attacks. Although Lear may feel he had a good reason to divide his land, there really is no rational reason for his action. He only divided his land so...
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