King Lear

Essay by Anonymous UserB+, October 1996

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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 untimely 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


In 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


And here are to be answered. Tell me, my


(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 extend

where nature doth with merit challenge.'

(Act I, Sc i, Ln...