Consider The Presentation Of Themes And Ideas Raised By Shakespeare In Act 1 Colyton Grammar School Essay

694 words - 3 pages

Consider the presentation of themes and ideas raised by Shakespeare in Act 1
Throughout Act 1 of the play “King Lear”, Shakespeare raises many ideas and themes relevant to both the play itself and common modern subjects such as Nature/justice/rights & responsibilities/sight & blindness/appearance, reality & truth. He does this by using a range of literary techniques throughout his writing, which makes these issues more apparent than ever.
The idea of nature in King Lear is mostly focussed on the natural and unnatural behaviour of one’s spouse, this is true for Lear himself with his daughters and Gloucester with his sons.
Goneril and Regan’s unnatural behaviour towards their father plays a large part in the travesty of Lear’s journey throughout the play, an example of this is in the court when both daughters declare their ‘love’ for their father, however Shakespeare makes it obvious that this admiration is in fact fake with Cordelia responding to their speeches as “glib and oily art”. The idea that their speeches to their father are “oily” implies that this persuasion technique is superficial and not something you would expect of a child to say to their father, as Carol Atherton writes “Goneril and Regan are only too willing to play along”.
Another example of relationships being unnatural between spouse and father is the case between Gloucester, his son Edmund and his brother Edgar. Here the illegitimate son Edmund plans to plot against his father and brother to receive full inheritance for his own selfishness; “I must have your land”. This situation is especially unusual however as Edmund, although illegitimate, is treated equally to Edgar his legitimate son which was hardly hear of in Shakespeare’s day. This fairness from Gloucester makes Edmund’s plotting seem even more unnatural as he is openly loved and accepted by his father; “the whoreson must be acknowledged” although he has no reason to in this day and age.
Shakespeare however didn’t just keep unnatural behaviour in relationships between child and father. Edmund’s behaviour...

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