Falstaff and King Lear

Falstaff and King

Lear

Shakespeare\'s tragedy King Lear is a detailed
description of the consequences of one man\'s decisions. This fictitious
man is Lear, King of England, who\'s decisions greatlyalter his life and
the lives of those around him. As Lear bears the status of King heis, as
one expects, a man of great power but sinfully he surrenders all of this
power to his daughters as a reward for their demonstration of love towards
him. (Cain) Thisuntimely abdication of his throne results in a chain reaction
of events that send him througha journey of hell. King Lear is a metaphorical
description of one man\'s journey through hell in order to expiate his sin.

As the play opens one can almost immediately see thatLearbegins to make
mistakes that will eventually result in his downfall. (Neher)

This is the first and most significant
of the many sins that he makes in this play. By abdicating his throne to
fuel his ego he is disrupts the great chain of being which statesthat the

King must not challenge the position that God has given him. This undermining
of God\'s authority results in chaos that tears apart Lear\'s world. (Williams)

Leavinghim, in the end, with nothing. Following this Lear begins to banish
those around him that genuinely care for him as at this stage he cannot
see beyond the mask that the evilwear. He banishes Kent, a loyal servant
to Lear, and his youngest and previously most loved daughter Cordelia.
(Nixon) This results in Lear surrounding himself with peoplewho only wish
to use him which leaves him very vulnerable attack. This is precisely what
happens and it is through this that he discovers his wrongs and amends
them.Following the committing of his sins, Lear becomes abandoned and estranged
from his kingdom which causes him to loose sanity. While lost in his grief
and self-pity the foolis introduced to guide Lear back to the sane world
and to help find the lear that was ounce lost behind a hundred Knights
but now is out in the open and scared like a littlechild. (Bradley) The
fact that Lear has now been pushed out from behind his Knights is dramatically
represented by him actually being out on the lawns of his castle. Theterrified
little child that is now unsheltered is dramatically portrayed byLear\'s
sudden insanity and his rage and anger is seen through the thunderous weather
that is being experienced. All of this contributes to the suffering of

Lear due to thegross sins that he has committed. The pinnacle of this hell
that is experienced be Lear in orderto repay his sins is at the end of
the play when Cordelia is killed. Lear says this before he himself dies
as he cannot live without his daughter. (Bradley)

All of this pain that Lear suffered is
traced back to the single most important error that he made. The choice
to give up his throne. This one sin has proven to have massiverepercussions
upon Lear and the lives of those around him eventually killing almost all
of those who were involved. And one is left to ask one\'s self if a single
wrong turn cando this to Lear then what difficult corner lies ahead that
may cause similar alterations inone\'s life.

There has been many different views on
the plays of William Shakespeare and definitions of what kind of play they
were. The two most popular would be the comedy andthe tragedy. King Lear
to some people may be a comedy because they believe that the play has been
over exaggerated. Others would say King Lear was a tragedy becausethere
is so much suffering and chaos. What makes a Shakespearean play a comedy
or a tragedy? King Lear would be a tragedy because it meets all the requirements
of atragedy as defined by Andrew Cecil Bradley. Bradley states that a Shakespearean
tragedy must have to be the story of the hero and that there is exceptional
suffering andcalamity slowly being wornin as well as it being contrasted
to happier times. The play also depicts the troubled parts in his life
and eventually his death that is instantaneous caused by the suffering
andcalamity. There is the feeling of fear in the play as well, that makes
men see how blind they are not knowing when fortune or something else would
be on them. (Cain) Thehero must be of a high status on the chain and the
hero also possesses a tragic flaw that initiates the tragedy. Thefall of
the hero is not felt by him alone but creates a chain reaction which affects
everything below him. Henry IV is a very different