King Lear Tragedy Essay

King Lear Tragedy Essay-23
Thus, Lear is worthy of his prospective status as a tragic hero.

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The particular cruelty of King Lear is indicated in Shakespeare's alterations to his sources; in Holinshead's Chronicles Cordelia wins the war and restores Lear to the throne (although she does later hang herself).

This darkness of tone is accompanied and indeed reinforced by a studied vagueness of time and geography.

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Prior to the twentieth century Shakespeare critics tended to interpret King Lear as a conventional or classic tragedy and saw Lear himself as an Elizabethan version of the "tragic hero." Like the ancient Greek character Oedipus, Lear is a majestic figure at the start of the play whose character flaw of hubris or pride compels him to initiate acts that lead to his ultimate demise.

(The entire section is 888 words.) King Lear is one of Shakespeare's darkest plays; darker than Measure for Measure, darker perhaps even than Titus Andronicus.

So dark is it, that from 1681 to 1838 it was performed only in a tamed, even sedated version by Nahum Tate.

Lear is presented to us by Shakespeare as the majestic monarch, ushered onto the stage with the ceremonial pomp and trumpets.

In short order, we learn that during his reign, Lear has proven himself to be an able ruler, adding to the commonwealth's prosperity and estate.

His loyal servant Kent, who defends her, is also banished.

Lear's power is total, and, as many commentators have noted, used unjustly.

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