King Lear Essay Contrasting The Kent And The Fools Attitude Toward Lear

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Contrast Kent’s and the Fool’s attitude towards Lear. What point of view does each represent with regard to our evaluation of Lear as either villain or Hero? One major difference in the attitude taken by Kent and the Fool toward Lear is the approach they both take when speaking to him. The Fool’s lexis is in the form of riddles; he gives wisdom in folly so to the audience his lexis seems complex and comedic however at second glance is in fact wisdom. The Fool appears to speak the mind of the audience, informing Lear of his rash and unwise decisions- “Thou hast pared thy wit o’both sides and left noting i’th’middle.” This honesty spoken by the Fool interrupts the natural order of being as in Elizabethan times Lear was seen the ‘the embodiment of God- his equal on earth’ therefore such a ‘lowly’ person as the Fool would not be permitted to be so blunt and honest. Thus the theme continued through King Lear of the inverting of things- the reversal of the great chain of being, throwing things into chaos. In contrast however is Kent’s language and attitude toward the King, the audience becomes very aware of the selfless attitude Kent possess and he shows this by his repeated attempts for Lear to see the error of his ways. At the beginning of Act 1 scene 4, Kent disguises himself and acts as servant to Lear- this selfless act shows a huge loyalty in Kent’s attitude to Lear. Although Lear spoke badly towards and banished Kent, he still humbles himself and becomes a servant in a constant attempt to impact the king… “If thou canst serve where thou dost stand condemned so may it come thy master, whom thou lov’st, shall find thee full of labours.” Kent makes a desperate attempt to present imagery, rather than use blunt language, to Lear in a last appeal for him to see thatalthough he is king, he is still

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