King Lear

Topics: Tragedy, Tragic hero, Poetics Pages: 3 (1171 words) Published: March 4, 2012
How far is King Lear a tragedy without any redeeming features?

‘King Lear’ is a well known tragic play due to the flaws present in the King, the two evil daughters whom crave power, the torturous acts and number of deaths provided at the end of the play. However, in many viewers eyes, ‘King Lear’ offers redemption greatly due to its tragic plot and sub-plot, its not entirely a play where redemption isn’t present.

The main plot we follow in ‘King Lear’ is Lear himself facing the traumatising acts throughout the play due to his evil daughters; Regan and Goneril and his fatal flaw; hubris. A tragic element in ‘King Lear’ is when Lear, himself, lets his hubris get the better of him. ‘ Here I disclaim all paternal care’ showing Lear disowning his ‘perfect’ daughter; Cordellia and this is tragic because Lear has been fooled by the lies his evil daughters led him to believe and in a result of this, he pushed away his only ‘perfect’ daughter; Cordellia. On the other hand, Lear is often seen as a character with redeeming features which adds to the tragic element of the plot. (quote- saves Cordelia from hanging). All in all, if Lear didn’t have a sense of redemption at the end of the play, the play wouldn’t withstand its tragic elements.

Another element we behold of Lear himself is the perception of him being a ‘tragic hero’ by reason of his fatal flaws; hubris, value of appearances and inability to accept reality. His fall from grace; losing his power and daughter and in result of this, going mad. Also, the plot created around him and lastly, the actions he accomplished. Lear is incapable of understanding the appearance of situations and realities which is massively tragic. Lear throughout, craves to be treated like a King yet he wants no responsibilities for his kingdom. Instead, he splits his kingdom and has his daughters rule over their given region.(quote- Lear offering regions) Likewise, he tests his daughters to see which of them are willing to make the...
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