King Leer.

Topics: William Shakespeare, King Lear, Edmund Pages: 3 (1173 words) Published: November 4, 2014

Human frailty is often a centre or the focus of Shakespearean dramas. King Lear by William Shakespeare is a dramatic tragedy encompassing characters who are good-natured, evil and mad. It highlights the nature of human beings in regard to what makes them who they are and within this, we see in each character a human frailty. However, the play gives us hope in its display of the propensity of humans to change as is seen in Lear himself and Gloucester. The play presents to us several variations of characters. Firstly, there are good characters such as Cordelia and Albany. However, just because we determine from their loyalty and honestly that they are good, they still contain a human frailty. For Cordelia this is her honesty. It is both a virtue and a vice. When Lear instigates the love contest he already proposes to give Cordelia the most opulent third of the kingdom but in order to feed his ego, sets his three daughters up to express their love for him. Cordelia replies with instead of exaggerated declarations of love such as her sisters “dearer than eye sight” and a love more than “all other joys”, she says “I love you as my bond requires, no more, no less”. In saying this Cordelia shows a self righteous pride and what can be argued is a certain level of arrogance. This human frailty in her displays that she values honesty highly but the consequence is her banishment from her father’s kingdom. Similarly Albany, although eventually a good character, is chided by Goneril for his “milky gentleness”. This we see is his human frailty, the weakness that allows him to be pushed around by his commanding and manipulative wife Goneril. However, soon Albany discovers strength and stands up to his wife, as he finds her and Regan’s actions morally reprehensible when Regan and Cornwall pluck out Gloucester’s eyes. In this way it is true to a large extent that Shakespeare dramas study human frailty which is present even in inherently ‘good’ characters. Then of course,...
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