Tragedies in King Lear.

Essay by MiladHigh School, 12th gradeA-, May 2003

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"The theme of King Lear may be stated in psychological as well as

biological terms. So put, it is the destructive, the ultimately

suicidal character of unregulated passion, its power to carry

human nature back to chaos....

The predestined end of unmastered passion is the suicide of the

species. That is the gospel according to King Lear. The play

is in no small measure an actual representation of that process.

The murder-suicide of Regan-Goneril is an example. But it is

more than a picture of chaos and impending doom. What is the

remedy for chaos? it asks. What can avert the doom? The

characters who have mastered their passions give us a glimpse of

the answer to those questions."

-Harold C. Goddard,

The Meaning of Shakespeare, 1951

Shakespeare's tragedy, King Lear, is often thought of as not only one of

Shakespeare's best works, but also one of his best "poems".

The language

follows in Shakespeare's trademark format using iambic pentameter in much

of the play. Shakespeare's It is we ll known for its many universal

themes. Some of these themes are: Dealing with he folly of old age and the

ingratitude of youth; Good versus evil; Nature; Vision and blindness; and

Fortune. These themes have been examined for hundreds of years in many dif

ferent forums, but what makes this play so unique is the fact that

Shakespeare incorporates all of these issues in just one tale.

One character that examines some of these issues is a character named

Kent. Kent is a significant character in King Lear, as he is involved from

the beginning to the end. Kent is the ideal first mate to the commander of

the ship of state. From the moment we meet him and observe his tactful

response to Gloucester's bawdy...