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Fate In "King Lear". Essay

1223 words - 5 pages

FateIn the play King Lear fate decides where each person will go, how they live and how they die. Each character in the play believes in god or a higher power that is responsible for the good and unfortunate events in their lives. Fate places situations on each of them and it is up to the characters to decide how they will play out the situation. Each character blames the gods for their ill fortunes and complicated lives. When one lives under the notion that there is a divine power guiding them through their life they feel more confidante knowing there is someone watching out for them. There is one major plot in this play with an almost as important sub plot. The major plot is King Lear and his daughters. An old man loosing his mind and his two daughters are trying to control him as if he were a child instead of a king. The second plot involves Edgar the legitimate son of the Earl of Gloucester and Edmund the illegitimate son. Edmund is a vile man full of hatred and greed for power. Edmund betrays his brother and father in order to accumulate power. It is fate that brings the characters of this play to commit the acts and make the decisions that decide their destiny. The play starts off as a slightly insane King Lear divides his land up between his daughters. His two eldest daughters tell him lies to flatter him and the youngest daughter tells him truth which he is blind to see. The king did not choose to grow old, the king did not choose for his life to slowly come to an end and the king did not and could not choose to be insane that is something only fate and bring.In the play, King Lear often talks to or about the gods. He believes that the gods are controlling his fate and as the play progresses and the situation worsens we see Lear and other characters protesting the gods as if they were out to get them. Lear first speaks of the gods early on in the play when he says "For by the sacred radiance of the sun the mysteries of Hecate and the night, by all the operation of the orbs from whom we do exist and cease to be."( Act 1, Scene 1, Line 112 - 115) In this quote King Lear asks the gods why his youngest daughter Cordelia does not love him as much as his eldest daughters. Lear is blind to see the truth in his daughter Cordelia. Hecate is the goddess of witchcraft and the underworld so it is ironic that he refers to Cordelia as a goddess of the underworld when she it the only daughter that truly loves him. King Lear then sends his daughter away and she weds the king of France. The King then starts to live with his daughter Goneril and she treats him like a child. As the play continues Lear makes one irrational decision after another and his health both mental and physical starts to deteriorate. At the end of the play King Lear is powerless and Edmund has just summoned a guard to take Lear and Cordelia away to prison. Then King Lear says"No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to prison: We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage: when thou dost ask...

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