King Lear Madness Sanity

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In Act III of Shakespeare’s play “King Lear”, madness is expressed in many of the character’s speeches. Lear, Edgar and the Fool all demonstrate a great deal of wisdom and insight when they discuss the chaos going on throughout the Act. Each character has a unique way of expressing their opinion. By Act III, Lear’s life is in turmoil; the daughters he loved so greatly have betrayed him, leaving him powerless. The rage that Lear feels is unbearable; he was so angry that he ran into a life-threatening storm. When he expresses his reasoning for running into the storm, he preaches great wisdom: “Thou think’st ’tis much that this contentious storm invades us to the skin. So ’tis to thee, the lesser is scarce felt. But where the greater malady is fixed.” This quote from the play is Lear explaining pain. He believes that, when you are in such great pain, other things no longer seem threatening. Another interesting statement that Lear makes expressing his “Madness” is: “Thou’dst shun a bear, But if thy flight lay toward the raging sea Thou’dst meet the bear i' th' mouth. When the mind’s free, the body’s delicate.” This relates to the storm and the betrayal of his daughters. The feeling he has towards his daughters is more sensitive and he needs to calm down before confronting them. Lear also demonstrates his awareness that he is losing his mind when he thinks about the pain his daughters put him through: “On such a night as this! O Regan, Goneril, Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all—Oh, that way madness lies. Let me shun that. No more of that” Edgar’s “Madness” is different from King Lear’s. Edgar has to convince others of his insanity in order to avoid being captured and executed. This means Edgar is always in control of his “madness.” He is not mad at all, unlike Lear who is slowly losing his sanity! Edgar is disguised as a “Poor Tom” who pretends he has

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