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The story revolves around the King who foolishly alienates his only truly devoted daughter and realizes too late the true nature of his other two daughters. A major subplot involves the illegitimate son of Gloucester, Edmund, who plans to discredit his brother Edgar and betray his father.
With these and other major characters in the play, Shakespeare clearly asserts that human nature is either entirely good, or entirely evil. Some characters experience a transformative phase, where by some trial or ordeal their nature is profoundly changed. Cordelia who is wholly good, Edmund who is wholly evil, and Lear whose nature is transformed by the realization of his folly and his descent into madness.
The play begins with Lear, an old king ready for retirement, preparing to divide the kingdom among his three daughters. Lear has his daughters compete for their inheritance by judging who can proclaim their love for him in the grandest possible fashion.
Cordelia finds that she is unable to show her love with mere words: Love, and be silent. Cordelia clearly loves her father, and yet realizes that her honesty will not please him.
Her nature is too good to allow even the slightest deviation from her morals. Later in the play Cordelia, now banished for her honesty, still loves her father and displays great compassion and grief for him as we see in the following: O my dear father, restoration hang Thy medicine on my lips, and let this kiss Repair those violent harms that my two sisters Have in reverence made.
However, she still loves him, and does not fault him for the injustice he did her. Clearly, Shakespeare has crafted Cordelia as a character whose nature is entirely good, unblemished by any trace of evil throughout the entire play. Edmund has devised a scheme to discredit his brother Edgar in the eyes of their father Gloucester.
Edmund is fully aware of his evil nature, and revels in it as seen in the following quotation: This is the excellent foppery of the world, that when we are sick in fortune, often the surfeits of our own behaviour, we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and stars; as if we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on.
I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing. Clearly, Edmund recognizes his own evil nature and decides to use it to his advantage.
Edmund feels not the slightest remorse for any of his actions. Later on, after the invading French army has been repelled, Lear and Cordelia have been taken captive and Edmund gives these chilling words to his captain: Come hither captain; hark. Take thou this note: Edmund has just instructed his captain to take Lear and Cordelia away to prison and to kill them, and make it look like suicide.
Shakespeare has created a perfect villain, with no remorse, no compassion, and who is universally despised by readers of the play. In the end, mortally wounded, Edmund does regret his actions and attempts to undo some of the hurt he has caused, and so perhaps we could also say Edmund is one of the characters who undergoes a transformation in the end.
However, up until that point, Edmund remains a classic villain, whose human nature is entirely evil. At the beginning of the play, we see Lear as a proud, vain, quick-tempered old king, not necessarily evil, but certainly not good. Turned away by both Regan and Goneril, Lear rails against the storm and screams "I am a man more sinned against than sinning.
Here Lear still believes he is the victim; and yet there is some admission on his part that he has some guilt in the matter. Wipe thine eyes; The good years shall devour them, flesh and fell, Ere they shall make us weep.
His joy at reconciliation with his daughter outweighs any other concerns he might have. It is not necessarily a transformation from evil into good; rather it is a transformation from blindness into sight. In King Lear, we have seen that Shakespeare has carefully crafted the characters and clearly defined their human natures as being good or evil.
There is no doubting the absolute goodness that Cordelia maintains throughout the play, and the sheer evil that Edmund displays until his plans are in ruins. In Lear we see a flawed figure who by misfortune and loss finally comes to revelation and personal transformation.
In that sense, these characters are perfect tragic figures, perhaps not necessarily realistic but powerful and moving nonetheless.Mar 30, · William Shakespeare, notorious for his clever wordplay, wrote it so that King Lear 's wisest characters are portrayed as making foolish decisions.
Shakespeare wants to portray how sometimes what appears to be a foolish idea when it comes to money is often the wisest decision of grupobittia.coms: Literary analysis involves examining all the parts of a novel, play, short story, or poem—elements such as character, setting, tone, and imagery—and thinking about how the author uses those elements to create certain effects.
King Lear at its simplest level is a fairy-tale - a bit like Cinderella, complete with ugly sisters - but like Cinderella, it is a moral tale, in which a rejected daughter is shown to be more truthful, and her love more valuable, than the liars and flatterers.
Bruno Bettelheim's Critique of the Cinderella Fairy Tale.
words. 2 pages. A Literary Analysis and a Comparison of King Lear by William Shakespeare and the Fairy Tale Cinderella. words.
2 pages. A Comparison of Cinderella Versions in the Grimm and the Traditional French. 1, words. Shakespeare's primary source is an anonymous play, The True Chronicle History of King Leir, in which the love test is used to trick Cordelia into marriage. Consequently, the test of love is only a device to further the plot, which Shakespeare plucked from his source.
Analysis of King Lear King Lear, by William Shakespeare, is a tragic tale of filial conflict, personal transformation, and loss.
The story revolves around the King who foolishly alienates his only truly devoted daughter and realizes too late the true nature of .