King Lear Essay

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King Lear Essay Show how King Lear and/or its main character conforms to three criteria found in Aristotle’s Poetics via A.C. Bradley’s, The Shakespearean Tragic Hero [As outlined in Viewpoints, page 687.] In the play “King Lear” by William Shakespeare it is shown as tragedy. The protagonist of the play, Lear is proud, serious, arbitrary, impatient, peremptory, humorless, and capricious and his position in life has allowed him to indulge all these traits to the fullest. Lear can inspire as well as command loyalty and obedience. Even though Lear is not a man of intellectual brilliance he is a “great soul,” with the capacity for feeling deeply the sorrow of rejection and abandonment by his own. The character of Lear in “King Lear” was known as a tragic hero, because the play meets all the requirements of a tragedy based on Aristotle’s Poetics via A.C. Bradley’s, the Shakespearean tragic Hero. Aristotle suggests that a hero of a tragedy must evoke from the audience a sense of pity or fear, saying, the change of fortune presented must not be the spectacle of a virtuous man brought from prosperity to adversity. King Lear has many common qualities, which appear to be essential to the tragic effect. According to Aristotle’s criteria of a tragic hero, King Lear shows characteristics of a tragic hero by having pre-eminence, tragic flaw and gaining of interest. Pre-eminence is superior to or notable above all others; outstanding. According to Aristotle people with high power are people that are exceptional beings and that “the hero, with Shakespeare, is a person of high degree or of public importance, and his actions or sufferings are of an unusual kind.” (Bradley, 687) This can also relate to “King Lear” because Lear is the King of Britain, therefore he has pre-eminence. Lear has been used to enjoying all his power and making sure everyone knows he has it. This
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