King Lear Essay
The definition of tragedy in the Oxford dictionary is, 'drama of elevated theme and
diction and with unhappy ending; sad event, serious accident, calamity.' However, the
application of this terminology in Shakespearean Tragedy is more expressive. Tragedy
does not only mean death or calamity, but in fact, it refers to a series of steps which leads
to the downfall of the tragic hero and eventually to his tragic death. Lear, the main
character in King Lear was affirmed as the tragic hero because the play meets all the
requirements of a tragedy. In order for a character to be qualified as a tragic hero, he
must be in a high status on the social chain and the hero also possesses a tragic flaw which
initiates the tragedy. The fall of the hero is not felt by him alone but creates a chain
reaction which affects everyone around him.
Besides, the hero must experience suffering
and calamity slowly which would contrast his happier times. The suffering and calamity
instantaneously caused chaos in his life and eventually leads to his death. Finally, the sense
of fear and pity to the tragic hero must appear in the play as well. This makes men scared
of blindness to truths which prevents them from knowing when fortune or something else
would happen on them.
Lear, the king of England would be the tragic hero because he held the highest
position in the social chain at the very beginning of the play. His social position gave him
pride as he remarked himself as 'Jupiter' and 'Apollo'. Lear out of pride and anger has
banished Cordelia and Kent and divided his Kingdom in halves to Goneril and Regan.
Lear's hamartia which is his obstinate pride and anger overrides his judgment, thus,
prevents him to...