King Lear

Essay by ZoubaHigh School, 12th gradeA+, May 2005

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

King Lear: The Price of Folly

William Shakespeare has earned his stature as one of the greatest and most prolific writers of his time. His multitude of plays and other written works have become buried into the subconscious of all who speak the English language. Reading through his plays though, reveals the pattern that all playwrights of the day followed in the Elizabethan era. One noticeable aspect among many was the personalities of the characters. Hamlet, Romeo, King Lear and many others where given very realistic personalities, all with positive and negative aspects that help or hinder the character as they go through the play. These personality traits affect their opinions and reaction to events as would a real person's.

Flaws in one's character in a Shakespeare play will usually be the central theme. The flaws are often greed, jealousy, shortsightedness, naivety etc. These flaws often lead through a series of events where the situation gets worse and worse, although the outcome also depends if the play is a comedy or tragedy.

In the first scene of King Lear the plot unravels, revealing in a single act that the King of England, Lear, intends to divide his kingdom and give 1/3 of the country to each of his daughters who are all to be wed. His daughters, Goneril, Regan and Cordelia assemble along with their suitors at Lear's castle. The King is getting old and he believes that partitioning his kingdom while still remaining King will let him live the rest of his days at ease. The two eldest daughters then make speeches to their father, on how they would devout themselves and their love completely to him in a blatant show of toadyism. First the eldest daughter, Goneril tells the aging patriarch that she loved him 'more than...



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