King Lear From Denial to Rage to Isolation

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The decisions one makes can influence the course of one's journey through life, all stemming from a single moment in time. In William Shakespeare's tragic play, King Lear, the title character is a flawed man whose inability to see the truth in front of him leads to his downfall. King Lear's journey through the play takes him on a path from denial to rage to isolation, leaving him, in the end, a broken fragment of the king he once was. His denial stems from his not being able to see his daughters' true colors. This denial leads to his rage, when he perceives that Regan and Cornwall are being thoughtless of his authority. Lear then descends into isolation, in hopes of redefining who he is. Lear moves through stages in his life before any wisdom can be gained, resulting in his becoming a victim to his own poor choices. It is said denial is "an unconscious defense mechanism used to reduce anxiety by denying thoughts, feelings, or facts that are consciously intolerable (" King Lear's denial derives from his blindness towards Regan and Cornwall's deceitful actions. He cannot see his daughter's and her husband's true motives, since they are masked by lies and deception. Lear and his followers arrive at Gloucester's castle. Kent hails the king, who promptly asks who has placed his messenger in stocks. When Lear finds out it was Regan and Cornwall who did this to Kent, Lear immediately refuses to believe they would imprison and disgrace someone in their King's employ: "They durst not do't: They could not, would not do't---tis worse than murder" (II.iv. 212-214). The fact that Lear convinces himself that his daughter and Cornwall would not mistreat his servant, Ken, shows his denial and aptitude for self-deception. By being in denial, Lear can avoid the harsh reality that his daughters, Goneril and Regan, as well as Regan's husband, Cornwall,
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