Year 11 Reading of King Lear

In: English and Literature

Submitted By emlings
Words 1176
Pages 5
The Tragedy of King Lear represents how the upheaval of the Elizabethan Chain of Being, through the hubris of the characters, Lear and Gloucester, leads to the disruption of divine order allowing evil to flourish throughout the kingdom, corrupting it, causing chaos until the characters accept their fate and order is restored. Those who violate the order, such as Edmund, Gonerill, Regan, Cornwell and Oswald, are punished and those who conform to the order, Lear, Gloucester, Kent, Edgar and Albany, suffer but are ultimately rewarded. At the beginning of the text, this view is not obvious, as the social hierarchy of their society indulges the characters. Once this social order is disrupted, chaos and evil flourishes. King Lear “divided in three our kingdom... conferring them on younger strengths” splitting the kingdom amongst his daughters and renouncing the crown is seen as the first major disruption in divine order. As it was believed that the King was the sole ruler, just below the God in the social hierarchy. Gloucester’s act of having an affair while married resulting in a bastard son, Edmond, is also seen as a disruption and a sin. The disruptions to the order make way for the evil to cause mayhem and the good to succumb to their faults. The main characters, King Lear and Gloucester have minor flaws but suffer immensely on stage. This suffering results in reconciliation with God. Their character development symbolises that a person has to accept whatever God has in store. Gloucester and Lear believe in a greater power “these late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us.” But mistake their position in the order by Lear’s hubris “divided in three our kingdom... conferring them on younger strengths” split up his kingdom caused the disruption and chaos. Through the character of the Fool, Lear comes to sense with his hubris, realising that Gonerill's…...

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