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Kinglear Essay

3641 words - 15 pages

King Lear, written by William Shakespeare between 1603 and 1606, is a play set in mythical England. The play has been enjoyed and studied for centuries and will continue to be enjoyed for centuries to come. King Lear is Shakespeare's tragic tale that features a plot and a sub-plot. King Lear story and Gloucester's story are in fact the same story; however, they are told in two different ways. Both stories share identical moral "“ that we do not always judge our children according to their merit, but by rather the actions they perform, and when we misjudge those closest to us in this way, disaster is the inevitable result. King Lear is an immensely difficult play to understand; however, ...view middle of the document...

Lear in his fit of rage banishes Kent from the kingdom. Lear keeps 100 knights to himself. Then the subplot is introduced -- the Gloucester subplot. Gloucester has an illegitimate son named Edmund and a real son named Edgar. Edmund is upset because he wants to be in charge so he devises a big plan to run Edgar away from the land by giving Gloucester a letter saying that Edgar was trying to kill him so that Edgar could take over the land. Edmund manipulates Edgar into running away. Kent shaves off his beard, disguising himself, so that maybe he can talk some sense into Lear. The Fool is introduced. The Fool is an interesting character, his speech is laced with puns and riddles, which, ironically, makes the king look like a fool. Lear begins to see that Goneril is not the good little daughter that he thought that she was. Lear sends Kent as a messenger to Gloucester.In the second act, the sub-plot is further developed. Edmund has a plot to get rid of his brother. Edgar, in Gloucester's eyes, begins to fall apart. Edmund wounds himself and tells Gloucester that Edgar did it, and Edgar must now run away. Kent arrives to Gloucester's. Regan and Cornwall are there, too. Cornwall and Regan put Kent into the stocks. Next Edgar transforms himself into a beggar-like character -- "Poor Tom." Lear comes and finds that Kent was put into the stocks. He is extremely upset because this is considered to be disrespectful. Lear asks Regan if he can stay with her. He doesn't want to stay with Regan anymore, but he finds that Regan is perhaps more evil than her sister. She doesn't want him to live with her. Lear rushes out into the storm in his "madness." The third act further develops the story. Kent tries to get help from Cordelia. He finds a gentleman and he gives him a ring to give to Cordelia. The Fool and Kent accompany Lear out in the storm. Edgar as "Poor Tom" also accompanies Lear in the storm. Gloucester goes and tries to get Lear out of the storm, but he refuses and complains about how much his daughters do not love him. Gloucester comes and says that he has heard about a plot to kill the king. He tells this to Kent. Regan, Goneril, and Cornwall find out that Gloucester is trying to save Lear. Cornwall stabs out Gloucester's eyes for punishment.The fourth act, which contains the scene we have chosen to analysis in-depth, contains several interesting scenes, and is when King Lear truly succumbs to madness. Gloucester is taken away and led by an Old Man to Edgar acting as Poor Tom. Edgar leads his father to Dover. We are told how Edmund and Goneril had been becoming good friends. Albany begins to realize how foolish his wife really is. The gentleman gets back to Kent and he tells Kent that he told Cordelia the news of her father, Lear. Gloucester wants to die, and he tells "Poor Tom" to take him to a cliff so that he can kill himself. Edgar won't let him kill himself though. Lear enters in a "mad state". Oswald shows up to kill Gloucester. Edgar intervenes...

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