King Lear

King Lear Assignment
1.Betrayal, Reconciliation, Authority versus Chaos, and Justice are different issues or themes that Shakespeare presents to his audience and asks them to battle and wrestle against. The first issue is the betrayal of the king and of Gloucester, and the reconciliation between them and their loved ones in the end, and the authority versus the chaos in the city on England and finally the Justice issue in which both the bodies of the good and the bad lay next to the each other in the end of the play.
2.Shakespeare implies a parallel between the two themes of Blindness and Madness. The two characters who suffer the most in the play are Lear and Gloucester. Their stories are similar in many ways; however, while Lear slowly goes mad, Gloucester is blinded but remains sane. Lear and Gloucester both seem to be able to perceive certain things more clearly after they lose their faculties. Lear realizes only as he begins to go mad that Cordelia loves him and that Goneril and Regan are flatterers. He comes to understand the weakness of human nature at the same time when Gloucester comes to understand which son is really good and which is bad at the very moment of his blinding.
3.Betrayals play an important role in the play and show the workings of wickedness in both the familial and political realms. Brothers betray brothers and children betray fathers. Goneril and Regan’s betrayal of Lear raises them to power in Britain, where Edmund, who has betrayed both Edgar and Gloucester, joins them. Also Reconciliation has an important role between Lear and Cordelia as a dramatic personification of true, self-sacrificing love. Rather than hating Lear for banishing her, Cordelia remains devoted to her king and father who meanwhile, learns a cruel lesson in humility and eventually reaches the point where he can reunite joyfully with Cordelia. These two issues of betrayal and Reconciliation have a clear relevance to our world today where there are lots of betrayals and reconciliations between families.
4.King Lear wanted to divide the kingdom among his three daughters. He intended to give up the responsibilities of government and spend his old age visiting his children. He commanded his daughters to say which of them loved him the most, and promised to give the greatest share to that daughter. Lear’s two older daughters, Goneril and Regan, responded to his test, telling him in exaggerated terms that they loved him more than anything else. But Cordelia, Lear’s youngest (and favorite) daughter, refused to speak. When pressed, she says that she cannot “heave her heart into her mouth,” that she loves him exactly as much as a daughter should love her father, and that her sisters wouldn’t have husbands if they loved their father as much as they say (I.i.90-91). In response to what she said the King gets mad at her and gives her nothing of the kingdom and takes his grace from her, and nearly banishes her.
5.King Lear’s two treacherous daughters, Goneril and Regan stripped him from his power which was symbolized in his hundred men that he wanted to keep with him all the time. First when he was living in Goneril’s castle, she told him that his men were causing so much trouble and that she has already sent half of them away. The king after knowing this leaves her house and goes to his other daughter praying that she would be better than her other sister. But, he was shocked that Regan would not even allow fifty but only twenty five soldiers. Finally neither Goneril nor Regan allowed him to have any soldiers with him which symbolized his total lack of control.
6.Shakespeare achieves a parallel structure throughout the play by his juxtaposition of the two families of Lear and Gloucester. Gloucester’s rejection of Edgar parallels Lear’s rejection of Cordelia in Act I, scene i, and reminds of the similarities between the two unhappy families: Edgar and Cordelia are good children of fathers who reject them in favor of children who do not love them. When Gloucester says, “I never got him”that is, he never begot, or fathered, himhe seems to be denying that he is actually Edgar’s father, just as Lear has banished Cordelia (II.i.79). On the other hand, when he praises Edmund as a “loyal and natural boy,” he seems to be acknowledging him as a true son (II.i.85) also just as King Lear thought Regan and Goneril were faithful to him. Shakespeare later also maintains the same parallel structure as he reconciles Lear with Cordelia and Gloucester with Edgar.
7.Gloucester’s physical blindness symbolizes the metaphorical blindness that gets both Gloucester and King Lear. The parallels between the two men are clear: both have loyal children and disloyal children, both are blind to the truth, and both end up banishing the loyal children and making the wicked ones their heirs. Only when Gloucester has lost the use of his eyes and Lear has gone mad does each realize his error.
8.Lear’s Fool combines a sort of foolishness with a deeper wisdom. The Fool says a lot of things that normal people can’t say to the king. Moreover, King Lear seems to have a very close relationship with his Fool: the Fool calls him “nuncle” and the king calls the Fool “boy.” He is always speaking in riddles and songs, but in many scenes he advises King Lear to be wary of his daughters. In telling him, “I / am better than thou art now; I am a fool, thou art nothing,” he hints at the dangerous situation in which Lear has put himself (I.iv.168-169). His silly singing, “The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long / That it had it head bit off by it young” clearly warns the king that his daughters, each like a traitorous “cuckoo,” plan to turn against the father who raised them (I.iv.190-191). The Fool has been able to clearly predict many events that happened to the king like the fact that Regan would not be a better daughter then Goneril, etc