King Lear: Sequences Which Display The Varying Per Essay

This essay has a total of 1716 words and 7 pages.

King Lear: Sequences Which Display The Varying Perceptions Of Differen

King Lear: Sequences Which Display The Varying Perceptions of Different
Characters


In Shakespeare's King Lear, there are several sequences which display
the varying perceptions of different characters. The perceptions of the
characters often differs because of what they are able to see and also in their
nature. Such factors obstruct their vision, not allowing them to see clearly.
One sequence which may illustrate this is the banishing of Cordelia after she
refuses Lear's test of love. Another sequence is the gouging of Gloucester's
eyes by Cornwall. A third sequence which shows the indifference of opinion
within the characters is Lear's death at the end of the play.
As the play opens up, Gloucester and Kent are speaking of Lear's
intention to divide his kingdom according to a test of love. It is this test of
love which causes Lear to banish his most beloved daughter Cordelia. When asked
how much she loves her father, Cordelia replies that she loves him according to
her bond, no more nor less . This response angers Lear and causes him to ban
her for her refusal to comply. Lear is held to the belief that she does not
love him. He believes that the daughter which had loved him the most (and who
he loved the most) has broken his heart. He is suspicious and bans her because
he thinks that she is the only daughter who doesn't love him. It is Lear's
rashness which prevents him from seeing that she is speaking the truth. It is
the same rashness which leads him to believe that Goneril and Regan are being
truthful. Kent believes that Lear is wrong and openly tells him so. He says in
a straightforward manner that he is both mad and an old man . Kent believes
that Lear's decision was a "hideous rashness." He continues to speak, even as
Lear asks him to stop. He tells Lear to see better as he is banned. It is in
Kent's nature to speak what he feels, without hiding things. He did not
understand Lear's condition and his rashness. Regan thought that because of the
banishing of both Cordelia and Kent, now Lear will have abrupt fits . She
thinks that her and Goneril are the next victims of Lear and must be careful.
Goneril sees the banishing as poor judgment on Lear's part . She says that it
has always been in his nature to be rash . She is not surprised by his actions.
She, as Regan does, believes that they must be careful in their actions or they
might be affected by him too . Goneril decides that it would be a smart move to
do something soon , before Lear can act against them or perhaps discover their
true nature. Both Goneril and Regan know that they had to lie in order to
receive a share of the kingdom. They decided to take initiative before they
could be affected. Both of them act out of greed in more power. If Lear bans
Cordelia, then it is simply a larger inheritance for both of them. The two
daughters do not find a problem in that. Albany does not understand what Lear's
reasoning is . He remains puzzled over why Lear would do such a thing and asks
the Gods for assistance . As Burgundy learns of Lear's actions, he restates his
interest in only what Lear had offered him . He still expects to receive
Cordelia along with her dowry, but drops the idea of taking her as his bride as
soon as Lear tells him that she no longer carries a dowry. France rescues
Cordelia from her misery after Burgundy refuses to marry her, but only after
speaking to Lear. When he first hears of Cordelia's banishing, he thinks that
it is strange that the one who he loved the most would do something so monstrous
as to strip his benevolence . After speaking to Cordelia and listening to what
she has to say, he realizes that she had spoken the truth and still loves Lear
the most. In his noble sense, he sees Lear's decision as rash (but does not say
anything) and takes Cordelia in. This characterizes France as one who can see
through Lear's rashness and understand the condition of both Cordelia and her
father. The Fool, like Kent, tells Lear in a very straightforward manner that
he is wrong. He at often times insults Lear, calling him a fool . Upon hearing
of Cordelia's banishing, he had much pined away, showing both his emotion
towards Cordelia and how he thinks that the King was wrong in his decision.
Shows that the Fool is very often the one who speaks truthfully and
intelligently, but is never taken seriously enough to be given any credit. He
does not tell Lear that he should take back Cordelia or even rethink it, rather
he boasts to the King of his foolishness. This shows both how the Fool knows
his limits very well and how he cares very much not to further anger Lear.
In Scene seven of Act three, Cornwall hastily plucks out the eyes of
Gloucester as his servants and Regan watch. Cornwall was operating under the
Continues for 4 more pages >>