King Lear Essay

1252 WordsJun 28, 20086 Pages
King Lear presents the audience with a bleak vision of society that is demonstrated through the dominance of nihilism to reveal a world devoid of justice, morality or any good order. This Aristotelian play depicts how a fatal flaw can catastrophically ruin a hero or heroine and lead them to their ultimate demise and induce total chaos within the society. The Tragedy of King Lear has been subjugated to various different interpretations that each offer a particularly bleak view of human existence and pessimistic prognostications. It is the social and historical circumstances that construct a composers understanding, allowing different interpretations to emerge through the ages. Through these interpretations, it allows the author to subsume new issues or concerns into their adaptation of the text according to the social values of the time and place. These various adaptations incorporate questions of justice or injustice and whether the world is indifferent to the fate of mankind. King Lear is interpreted as an Aristotelian tragedy that highlights Lear's tragic flaw of egotism and the progression from order to disorder that foreshadows his ultimate demise from King. It is this excessive pride which provokes the initiation of the “Love Test” to establish the extent of his daughters love for him by questioning “which of you shall we say doth love us most”. This is later reinforced through the use of colourful language abounded with hyperboles through Goneril’s speech- “Dearer than eyesight, space and liberty”. Lear’s vision is marred by his poor insight and inability to predict the consequences of his actions. In addition, he condemns his relationship with his youngest daughter, Cordelia, who refuses to participate in his love contest which dramatically foreshadows her opulent bounty. The annihilation of Lear’s relationship with Cordelia demonstrates a Christian

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