King lear Assignment

King lear Assignment

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 greatly alter his life and
the lives of those around him. As Lear bears the status of King he is,
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. This untimely abdication of his throne results in a chain
reaction of events that send him through a 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 that

Lear begins to make mistakes that will eventually result in his downfall.

The very first words that he speaks in the play are :-

"...Give me the map there. Know that
we have divided In three our kingdom, and'tis our fast intent To shake all cares and business from our age, Conferring
them on younger strengths while we Unburdened crawl to death..."
(Act I, Sc i, Ln 38-41)

This gives the reader the first indication
of Lear's intent to abdicate his throne. He goes on further to offer pieces
of his kingdom to his daughters as a form of reward to his test of love.

"Great rivals in our youngest daughter's
love, Long in our court have made their amorous
sojourn, And here are to be answered. Tell me, my
daughters (Since now we will divest us both of rule, Interest of territory,
cares of state), Which of you shall we say doth love us most? That we our
largest bounty may extend where nature doth with merit challenge."
(Act I, Sc i, Ln 47-53)

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 states that
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. Leaving
him, 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 evil wear. He banishes Kent, a loyal servant to Lear,
and his youngest and previously most loved daughter Cordelia. This results
in Lear surrounding himself with people who 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
insanity. While lost in his grief and self-pity the fool is 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 little child. 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. The terrified little child that is now unsheltered
is dramatically portrayed by Lear'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 the gross sins that he
has committed. The pinnacle of this hell that is experienced be Lear in
order to 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.

"Howl, howl, howl! O, you are men
of stones. Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them so That heaven's vault
should crack. She's gone for ever! I know
when one is dead, and when one lives. She's dead as earth. Lend me a looking
glass. If that her breath will mist or stain the
stone, Why, then she lives."
(Act V, Sc iii, Ln 306-312)

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 massive repercussions
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 can do this to Lear then what difficult corner lies ahead that
ma cause similar alterations in one's life.

There has been many