The Tragic Flaws of King Lear Analytical Essay by Master Researcher

The Tragic Flaws of King Lear
An analysis of King Lear's traits in William Shakespeare's "King Lear".
# 34722 | 1,150 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Sep 29, 2003 in Drama and Theater (English) , English (Analysis) , Shakespeare (King Lear)

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This paper compares the opening and closing scenes of "King Lear" in terms of tragic flaws in King Lear's character. The paper discusses his two worst traits that were pride and a false view of power and also describes how Lear was rash and blind to human nature, representing the worst of human nature. The paper posits that his deficient and distorted outlook is relevant for understanding many contemporary abuses, and thus, "King Lear" is a most striking play because the tragedy is so personal.

From the Paper:

"The scene begins with opposition between the bastard Edmund and the legitimate Edgar. Edmund states, "Well then, legitimate Edgar, to thy right Of law I will oppose a bastard's cunning. Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund As to legitimate Edgar" (Shakespeare 7). This incident foreshadows what is to come between three daughters who supposedly are equal in their father's sight. It is Edmund's father Gloster who informs the audience of what is about to happen and several of the factors that are about to contribute to the tragedy.
"King Lear is about to resign and divide his kingdom between his daughters. It seems that Lear may be losing his mind or suffering from some serious disease. "I grieve o see him With such wild starts of passion hourly seized" (9). One thing that is certain is old age is affecting him. "Alas! 'tis the infirmity of his age. Yet has his temper ever been unfixed, Choleric and sudden" (9). He seems to be suffering from some form of senility that would not only explain the psychological game, but would also diminish his responsibility. Lear says after this foolish game: "Tis said that I am choleric. Judge me, gods, Is there not cause?" (11). From what happens in the final scene, it is obvious that either the gods or life is unfair."

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