By Considering The Dramatic Effects Produced By Action And Language, Evaluate How Shakespeare Presents Lear And The Storm In Act 3 Scene 2

838 words - 4 pages

By considering the dramatic effects produced by action and language, evaluate how Shakespeare presents Lear and the storm in Act 3 Scene 2.

Lear’s elder daughters have stripped him of his power and status, abandoning him to the dreadful storm. As his mind breaks down, he begins to see reality in a new light and to confront unpleasant truths. The style and structure of Lear’s speeches convey the king’s confused, violent state of mind. Shakespeare presents the audience with a man who is surrounded by anger, and a desire for revenge, but more positively, humility and a recognition of previous mistakes.

Lear’s speeches in the storm, also reflect the movements of the storm. Lear’s opening ...view middle of the document...

Since the ancient Greeks and tales of the god Poseidon, weather has been used to convey emotions.  Storms are a perfect metaphor for human emotions run amok, and Shakespeare utilized them to the fullest extent.

Lear’s second speech is less explosive, but still full of rage, Lear now recognises that he cannot rule the elements. He says with crazy egotism that they owe him no loyalty. These lines continue the theme of “ingrateful man” and sum up the lunatic King’s version of events so far. Lear’s words convey the self-pity he feels: “here I stand your slave,” and “A poor, infirm, weak, and despised old man.” This description might be seen as the accurate self-assessment of a man who is beginning to see himself more clearly. Lear’s reference to himself as a slave is significant, in Act 2 Scene 4 he said he would rather work as Oswald’s slave than return to Goneril. Now he begins to see that he has, indeed is, nothing. His paranoid delusion that the storm is in league with his “pernicious daughter,” seems to confirm his arrogant vulnerability.

The Fool’s vulnerability also heightens and reflects Lear’s. He shows the audience an attractive side of Lear’s character. The King now finds time to feel for another, “Come on my boy. How dost, my boy? Art cold?... Poor fool and knave, I have one part in my heart, That’s sorry for thee.” Lear is attempting to...

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