"Each character in King Lear has control over their fate. The fates of each character are determined by events which occur in the opening scenes of the play."
To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Freewill and fate are themes which are frequently discussed in reference to Shakespeare's plays. He often makes the audience wonder whether the characters ever had a choice in how their stories would end.
King Lear's decision to abdicate the throne to his three daughters is the first decision made in the play. This is most certainly free will, king lear, as the most powerful man in the kingdom, has every opportunity to make the decisions he wishes. However, even at this point we see his madness overtaking him, making us question his rationality when having made this decision. He treats the event with a great informality, referring to his abdication as "shake[ing] all cares and business from our (his) age; Conferring them on younger strengths, while we (he) Unburthen'd crawl(s) toward death."
This statement could also be seen as proof of his complete disregard for the wellbeing of his kingdom, making his abdication the wisest choice to make in the interest of his people.
This also brings to question whether the kingdom would have really benefitted from having king Lear's reign continue.
The abdication of the throne to his daughters was inevitable however, as, although King Lear's age is never mentioned in the play, it is assumed that he is of an old age. Therefore, this decision may not be considered as an act of free will.
King Lear introduces a love test of sorts, to decide who receives a larger portion of his kingdom. Goneril uses flowery words and exaggerates her love for her father claiming that all of...