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Jacob's Amazingly Awesome King Lear Analysis

1227 words - 5 pages

In the tragedy King Lear by William Shakespeare, King Lear, Goneril, and Edmund all undergo a change in their motivation by end of the play. Initially Lear is driven by his sense of emotion, which is evident through his biased decisions and declining mental state. However, in the end of the tragedy, Lear begins to accept his maddening state and realize the fault in his previous actions, thus resolving his his emotional issues by using more rational thoughts. Contrarily, Goneril is a character that begins with a rational disposition, which is evident through her actions and decrees that are based upon intelligible decisions. Though her sense of reason transforms to that of emotion as she becomes more and more infatuated in Edmund, the eldest son of Gloucester, and makes all her decisions based upon her love for Edmund. Edmund also begins the play with a sense of reason as he executes his malevolent scheme. However, in the very end of the tragedy, Edmund’s sense of emotion is seen as he attempts to correct all of his ‘evil deeds’ and apologize for his actions. Thus as the tragedy progresses, the dispositions of Lear, Goneril, and Edmund all change thus permitting the individual characters to resolve their emotional needs.
Lear is dominated by a sense of emotion throughout most of the tragedy including the beginning scene in which Lear asks his daughters to show their love for him (act one, scene one, lines 48-54). Lear’s desire to hear his daughters proclaim their love for him in reward for land demonstrates his emotional need, as he ‘bribes’ his daughters with land in order to hear their proclamations of love again. Later in the scene, Lear’s maddening, emotional state becomes evident as he banishes Cordelia, his daughter that he “loved the most”, after she justly refuses his request of proclaiming her love for him through words (act one. scene one. lines 116-126). Lear’s crippling emotional state is also demonstrated by his response to Goneril’s decision to remove his knights when he says, “Into her womb create sterility…to have a thankless child.” (act one. scene four. lines 274-285) Lear becomes irate with his daughter’s decision and curses her because he feels as though his daughter who just proclaimed her love for him has wronged him dearly and emotionally injured him. Though by the end of the play, Lear has resolved his emotional needs with rational thought, as he begins to comprehend his poorly made decisions of before. Lear wakes up from his slumber and after recognizing Cordelia he says, “If you have poison for me, I will drink it,” because he understands that he has wronged Cordelia and now wants to do what he can to attempt to repent for his previous action (act 4. scene seven. line 82). Lear also tells Cordelia, “Pray you now, forget and forgive: I am old and foolish,” signifying Lear’s realization that he has become crazy in his old age and the end of his emotional desires. (act 4. scene seven. lines 96-97). Lear has resolved his...

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