Act I[ edit ] King Lear of Britain, elderly and wanting to retire from the duties of the monarchy, decides to divide his realm among his three daughters, and declares he will offer the largest share to the one who loves him most.
Contact Author What is King Lear about? King Lear is a tragedy by the big Billy himself, William Shakespeare. This play then depicts the gradual descent into madness of King Lear, after he disposes of his kingdom giving bequests to two of his three daughters based on their flattery of him.
The second plot line of the play consists of Gloucester and his sons, Edmund and Edgar. Edmund forges a letter stating that Edgar planned to betray his father.
Gloucester believed the forgery, bringing tragic consequences for all characters involved. Source The scene after Gloucester had his eyes gouged out Source Sight and blindness Evidently, the prospect of sight and blindness bears relevance towards the play due to the way in which the binary pair is a constant factor within the play.
For instance, this is emphasised through the way in which Gloucester loses his sight. After his eyes were removed he consequently began to gain more insight.
Consequently, this brings irony, insight and complexity to the play, therefore highlighting the significance of blindness and sight. This is through the statements made by the characters that conflict with their actions. For instance, within the play, Lear states that he is sorry for banishing Cordelia.
However, he does not do this in person as his actions lead to her absence from the kingdom. As a result, this shows the clear distinction between the two as although his words had stated; "I loved her the most" act 1 scene 1 and saying he loved her he allowed his vanity to sit higher than family values, consequently banishing her.
Furthermore, Lear asks "Who is it who can tell me who I am? However, his actions to divide the kingdom contradicts this as he resulted in being a king with a meaningless title as his actions got rid of the power and authority he had as king in act 1.
Three daughters of King Lear by Gustav Pope Source The theme of injustice Act 2, Scene 4 The sentimental theme of injustice clearly had been indicated within the Scene and Lear is provoked to the edge of insanity.
This is the way in which Regan and Goneril deceptively from their declaration of love to Lear had suddenly turned against him, attacking his pride though the treatment of Kent, Regan and Cornwall refusing to speak with him on command, stating that his authority and age was moving away from him.
For instance, Goneril states "Have a command you? As a result, this takes away the mentality of authority and importance that his servants represented and both daughters have chosen to use his empty status as king against him.
Therefore the theme of injustice is evident within this scene through the way in which Regan and Goneril have suddenly turned their back on Lear despite the fact they had proclaimed their love for him days before and left him to the storm where he could have easily fallen sick in his old age.
This is presented through scene 1 act 1 where Regan and Goneril lie to their father about their love whilst Cordelia refuses to shower Lear with compliments.
This presents the audience with irony and dramatic irony as Cordelia was the one who loved her father the most.
This presents the opposite sides within the play good and evil as the although Goneril and Regan still got the kingdom, they failed to show loyalty to the king which ultimately lead to their demise while Cordelia died in the hands of the law. King Lear, Act I, scene 2: For instance, Edmond lied to Gloucester that Edgar was plotting against him.
However, Edgar clearly had nothing to do with the letter that Edmond forged. Although this was true, the lie prevailed and Edgar was reduced to being a fugitive. Consequently, this brings irony, insight and complexity to the play, therefore highlighting the significance of truth and lie.
This is the way Lear had divided the kingdom leaving his title meaningless, banished Cordelia and Kent, argued with Goneril and was banished by his daughters, reducing him to nothing and breaking the chain of being.
The storm is a psychical reflection of the It reflects the madness and psychological anguish, regret, betrayal and emotional chaos that Lear felt within this situation. This shows the metaphysical connection Lear had to the storm as he shows that he regrets giving his kingdom to his children and he comes to the realisation he had made a mistake.
This brings Britain into a state of chaos where the villains of the play, Goneril, Regan, Edmond and Cornwall have the most power.
Instead of in a castle, the king is outside shouting at the storm like a mental patient. Therefore this shows that Lear had been reduced to nothing, as the fool had stated he had become old before he became wise which ironically defeats the purpose of a king.
King Lear and the Fool illustrated by H. This is clearly through the way in which he is shown provoking the storm to grow even more tempestuous.
Through this Lear bellows at the storm as though it was a physical being showing that he had been drawn to a state of delusion. This shows that Lear had lost touch with reality or an ordinary sense of understanding of nature. To this Lear lividly questions whether he deserves such harsh treatment from the gods and if not how they would allow his own daughters to betray and humiliate him as they had.
It is clear that Lear had regretted dividing his kingdom and sees himself as a victim in comparison to the rest of the characters.Learn about the Fool from Shakespeare's 'King Lear' and how a court jester just might be the most reasonable and honest character in the entire play.
The Fools of Shakespeare A lot of very bad stuff happens in the tragic plays of William Shakespeare. The Role of the Fool in William Shakespeare's King Lear In the play King Lear, by William Shakespeare, there are many intriguing characters.
Perhaps the most intriguing of them all is the fool. The fool seems to exist outside the play appearing and disappearing without warning. The Fool. BACK; NEXT ; Character Analysis. The Fool is Lear's own stand-up comedian, sure, but more interestingly, he's the only guy that Lear allows to criticize him.
(Remember, when Kent lips off, Lear boots him out of the kingdom and when Lear doesn't like . But the Fool is also a big mystery: what happens to him? He disappears after Act 3, Scene 6, and nobody ever explains where he's gone.
The only possible reference to the Fool after that is in the final scene, when King Lear . Examination Questions on King Lear Question: Discuss the Fool in King Lear and his function in the play.
Was he a boy or a man?
Answer: Our estimate of King Lear depends very much on the view we take of the Fool. Superficially considered, his presence is a blemish in the work; but a close analysis of the characters proves that he is necessary .
Shakespeare’s King Lear Analysis. Home / Also read about role of the fool in King Lear essay. Shakespeare has included the fool in the play to show a reverse in the natural order of the characters in the play, as the character Lear was on top in the first place, but now the fool has more power, which relieves the madness that the.