King Lear Essay

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Brianna Copeland

King Lear and his Downfall

In the book, King Lear by William Shakespeare a common theme is tragedy. As King Lear goes mad, the book become more and more tragic. Authors use the demise of characters, such as that of King Lear, to show the view of the world from one person’s point of view and King Lear, who was duped by the false love his daughters showed, lead to the demise of his kingdom.

The story begins with King Lear dividing his kingdom amongst his three precious daughters. In order to receive their share of the kingdom, Lear asks them to profess their love for him. While two of his daughters, Goneril and Regan, shower him with compliments, his third daughter, Cordelia, does not. This drives King Lear mad for he feelsd he does not have the love of his third daughter. This is the beginning of the tragedy because King Lear thinks he does not have the love of his daughter. He states, “Here I disclaim all my paternal care, Propinquity, and property of blood, And as a stranger to my heart and me Hold thee from this forever.” (Act 1, Scene 1) He is unaware that by disowning Cordelia that he is dooming his empire because she is the only one of the three that would handle it with care and do as the king pleases.

King Lear soon realizes that Goneril and Regan are not fit to run his kingdom. What makes it pejorative is that they are constantly disrespecting his authority and demeaning him, and slowly stripping him of his power. King Lear eventually recognizes that they are doing this and exclaims, “You think I’ll weep. No, I’ll not weep. I have full cause of weeping, but this heart shall break into a hundred flaws or ere I’ll weep- O Fool, I shall go mad!” (Act 2, Scene 4) And mad he went. As Lear has an epiphany that his daughters deceived him and do not love him as much as they claimed, his heart breaks and he goes a bit crazy. As he slowly realizes the corruption of his relationships with Goneril and Regan, the people whom he trusted his...
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