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King Lear William Shakespeare Lear's Emotional Progression From Denial To Rage To Isolation

1048 words - 5 pages

In Act Two of King Lear we see Lear's emotional deterioration. In a very short time Lear progresses from denial to rage to isolation. The audience can see this in Lear's language; when he is in denial he speaks formally to Regan hoping what he has heard is wrong. This leads to Lear begging her for help, which is the transitional stage where the truth begins to sink in with him. His language changes again when he finally understands that Regan will not see to his needs and has sided with Goneril. His language becomes much more informal, cursing both of his daughters and expressing his rage. Language does not affect the audience's understanding of Lear's isolation because this stage begins ...view middle of the document...

" Despite Kent's details about the events leading up to his stocking, Lear acts as if nothing happened and opens up to Regan hopefully. Lear tells her of the mistreatment he received from Goneril, "Beloved Regan, / Thy sister's naught. O, Regan, she hath tied / Sharp-toothed unkindness, like a vulture, here." Regan does not respond in a promising manner to Lear. Still hopeful he kneels down in front of Regan and begs her to take care of him. He does not want to lose her love. She is his only remaining daughter. She replies to his request with, "Good sir, no more. These are unsightly tricks. / Return you to my sister." Now we see Lear coming out of denial slightly, opening an opportunity for the first transitional phase. Lear understands now that Regan is unwilling to take him in and in a final desperate attempt to win her back he compares her to Goneril, "Thy tender-hafted nature shall not give / Thee o'er to harshness. Her eyes are fierce, but thine / Do comfort and not burn." His language shows the gradual trickle down from being sure of himself and Regan to being insecure. Goneril's appearance forces the transition from denial to rage. Lear realizes he is in trouble when Goneril appears because he finally makes the connection between the two of them. It is the first time that Lear considers conspiracy against him. His foolishness has left him with nowhere else to turn, they have him cornered. He quickly realizes this and begins to rage. Lear explodes in anger when Regan and Goneril attempt to deny him of his entourage. Lear's entourage is a symbol of his pride and honour, he protests that their demands would reduce him from human to a wild animal. He argues that no one should be expected to live on basic necessities...

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