Develop and organize arguments 5. Write the introduction 6. Write the body paragraphs 7. Write the conclusion 1.
Hire Writer 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: What shall Cordelia speak? 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. 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.
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.
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. Choose Type of service.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.
In King Lear, this quote is a warning to be sneaky, not showy, to get what you want. It is not coincidence that the Fool conveys this warning to King Lear in Act I, scene 4. Fool is a bit of an. An essay on King Lear by Norman Maclean. Also available on web site: online catalogs, secure online ordering, excerpts from new books.
Sign up for email notification of new releases in your field. King Lear literature essays are academic essays for citation.
These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of King Lear. An essay on King Lear by Norman Maclean. Also available on web site: online catalogs, secure online ordering, excerpts from new books. Although in several particulars the Folio has contracted the first half of the question, an analysis of either version of the speech would be substantially the same.
In King Lear, men are no better than dogs and rats, prone to the same undignified behavior, powerless before the same constant and inexplicable twists of fate. Previous Suggested Essay Topics Next.