Shakespeare Ethics of Life

Topics: William Shakespeare, King Lear, Tragic hero Pages: 3 (1202 words) Published: March 18, 2011
In the play, King Lear by William Shakespeare, there are many moral themes present. The most evident of these themes, however, is the idea of how life is never fair. Shakespeare uses many characters and situations to utilize this theme. King Lear, is one of the tragic heroes of the play. Lear also undergoes many emotional, changes throughout the play. In the beginning, Lear is a little less than merciful, and doesn’t value others opinions. After asking his daughters which one of them loves him most, his wisest and youngest daughter Cordelia answers with the truth (that she loves him, but not to the extent of her sisters, who make false claims), while his other daughters lie for their own advantage. . An example of his reaction would be “Let it be so then. Thy truth be thy dower: For by the sacred radiance of the sun, the mysteries of Hecate…Here I disclaim my paternal care, propinquity and property of blood, and as a stranger to my heart and me, hold thee, from this, forever.” Lear banishes Cordelia for her “treachery” and leaves her to marry the king of France with no dowry.. Slowly after this unwise decision, Lear’s life takes an unpleasant turn. The daughters he so trusted with their false words, Goneril and Regan, thrust him out of his own castle and left him to die in a storm, so they could take over the kingdom. During the storm, Lear changes. He understands how difficult everyday life is for most people, and his eyes are opened to his daughter’s unfaithfulness and his own lack of wisdom. This change of character is extremely significant to the plot because though Lear did make mistakes towards the begging, his mistakes were trusting his own family and believing in people to do right. He is punished for this mindset, which is very unfair. At the end of the play, after Lear realizes all of his mistakes “Pray you now, forget and forgive: I am old and foolish”., he is still not rewarded for learning a lesson and things don’t go back to normal....
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