King Lear

This essay has a total of 808 words and 3 pages.

King Lear

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 untime 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 dividedIn 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 extendwhere 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
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