Strengths and Weaknesses King Lear

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Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the character King Lear The character of King Lear is essentially a destructive character in this play due to his weaknesses but he reveals some strengths in character in acts four and five of the play. The weaknesses portrayed by Lear are his inability to see reality and his misconception of love. His strengths are his renewed optimism and his ability to become humble. Although Lear reveals these strengths the damages his weaknesses cause override his positive change in character. A central weakness of King Lear is his flaw of being blind to reality. This flaw is displayed in the exposition of the play when Lear banishes Cordelia as she refuses to confess her love for him. He is blind to reality due to his irrational expectation of his daughters and this causes him to react unreasonably to Cordelia’s defiance. The blindness of this irrational action is reinforced when Kent tries to reason with Lear stating “see better Lear and let me still remain/the blank of thine eye” and Lear who is blind to this reason banishes Kent also. The use of the words “see” and “eye” allows the audience to understand direct links between Kent’s speech and the idea of Lear’s fatal flaw of being blind. In addition to this, the use of the word “better” and the phrase “let me be the blank of thine eye” illustrate that Lear has lost his ability to see reality clearly. This flaw is increasingly developed as Lear falls further into madness and loses his grip on reality. This blindness is illustrated to the audience as Lear attempts to appeal to Regan’s ‘good nature’ which she essentially does not possess at this point. “No Regan thou shalt never have my curse/thy tender-hafted nature shall not give” he states to her after aggressively criticizing Goneril. The tone of his speech to Regan is inappropriately flattering and displays his desperation as he is attempting to appeal to her filial feelings that we know Regan does not have for Lear. The tone...
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