Thursday, July 18, 2019
Humanitys Fate in King Lear :: English Literature Essays
Humanity's Fate in King Lear Many tragedies have been written throughout history. The purpose of these tragedies were to illustrate some type of moral lesson. The tragic situation involves man's miscalculation of reality and the fatal results of those miscalculations. Our tragic hero must endure a great deal of suffering. It ends in his ruin or destruction. We must also understand that tragedy not only destroys the guilty, but also the innocent. The tragic hero represents what could happen to humankind. He is responsible for his society. He is a representation of our own fate. The fate of humanity will be discussed in King Lear, by William Shakespeare. In this moving play, our tragic hero was King Lear. Our tragic hero must also have a tragic flaw. Lear's tragic flaw was his vanity. Lear is so full of himself that he doesn't realize the truth. First of all, Lear wants to divide his kingdom up into three parts for his three daughters. Each daughter's portion depended on how much they would proclaim their love for him. Lear says, "Give me the map there. Know that we have divided 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, i, l. 38-41) Lear should not have relinquished his powers in the first place. He expects to be treated like a king when he no longer will have the power of a king. Secondly, he says, " Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love, long in our court have made their amorous sojourn, and here are to be answered. Tell me, my daughters ( Since now we will divest us both of rule, Interest of te rritory, cares of state), which of you should we say doth love us most? That we our largest bounty may extend where nature doth with merit challenge."(Act I, i, l. 47-53) Within these few lines, we see Lear's first sign of vanity. For one daughter to receive more land than another, one must proclaim their love to be more than the other. He is measuring their love with land. Naturally, his first two daughters, Goneril and Regan, will lie to him, but his vanity blinds him from the truth. Lear's first miscalculation was dividing his land between the daughters. The second is allowing his vanity to get the best of him.