King Lear Is More Sinned Against Than Sinning

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“King Lear is more sinned against than sinning.” ‘More sinned against than sinning’ If we are going to look up its definition on the internet, it informs us that it is an expression used of those who, though they may be guilty of wrongdoing, think themselves the victim of a more serious wrong. But let me try my best to discuss how Shakespeare explores this in King Lear. At the beginning of the play, the reader could immediately see that Lear, though he bears the status of King he is, as one expects, a man of great power but has already committed two significant mistakes – disownment of Cordelia and banishment of Kent. He decides to divide his kingdom and it is clear that Lear himself brought about the separation of his family with his love trial having to ask his three daughters, allotting the portion to their declaration of love towards him. He sins against his whole family and by thinking that love can be quantified. And as it turns out, Lear isn’t only separating his family but power and responsibility as well. His very unpredictable, easily aggravated temper causes him to act wrongly and irrationally towards Cordelia, his favorite daughter who, he believes has betrayed her. Lear cannot understand that anyone’s, let alone his daughter’s, love for him could be ‘nothing’. I think pride, anger and greed for power prompted Lear to make the decision of giving up the kingdom to his malicious, hateful and ungrateful daughters, Regan and Cordelia. After that, Lear banishes the earl of Kent, a faithful courtier who disapproves his punishment for Cordelia. The untimely abdication of his throne, his blindness to Cordelia’s authentic love and Kent’s faithfulness triggers and results in a chain reaction of events that send him through a tragic journey. The cruelty and ingratitude of Goneril and Regan is indubitable; and Lear himself is obsessed by the way that his
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