Plotlear Parallel Plots Of Shakespeare's King Lear

1926 words - 8 pages

The Parallel Plots of Shakespeare's King Lear

         Many works of literature contain parallel plots in which similar actions taken by various characters precipitate identical results.  Upon careful examination, it is evident that “such plots exist in Shakespeare's play King Lear with the deaths of King Lear, Cordelia, Edmund, and Goneril, among others” (Curry 17).  The betrayal of a commitment to an authority figure is the cause behind each of the above characters' death.  Likewise, the consistent loyalty of Kent, the Fool, and Edgar is rewarded when they outlive their traitorous peers.

King Lear, who as a divine-right king derives his power from God, betrays God's will when he transfers his kingdom to his daughters, Reagan and Goneril.  When Lear states that his purpose in doing so is "To shake all cares and business from our age, / Conferring them on younger strengths while we / Unburdened crawl toward death." (Shakespeare 2) he declares his intention to delegate his power so that he is no longer bothered with great responsibilities.  In this self-serving act, Lear is unfaithful to God, whose wish it was for Lear to rule for a lifetime.  Later, God's wrath is apparent in Act III Scene II when Lear speaks to a tempest, a manifestation of God's anger at the strife within the kingdom, and tells it to "Rumble thy bellyful! Spit, fire! Spout rain! / Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire are my daughters" (Shakespeare 60).   Evidently, upon seeing the tempest, Lear is aware that he made a mistake and betrayed God's trust.  In speaking to the tempest, he asks for God to correct the situation by causing Reagan and Goneril to fall from power.  As a result of his unfaithfulness to God, Lear dies of a broken heart in the end of the play when he discovers that his daughter Cordelia was hanged.

            Cordelia is yet another character that suffers death as a result of her disloyalty.  In the beginning of the play, Lear is in the process of dividing up his kingdom and confides in Kent that Goneril, Reagan, and Cordelia will each receive equal shares.  Also, Lear decides that Cordelia should receive the more desirable central region of the kingdom.  Before announcing his decision, Lear requests that each of his daughters declare her undying love for him in order to receive a portion of the kingdom.  While Goneril and Reagan tell Lear what he wants to hear, rebellious Cordelia refuses to play along in Lear's game and declares: "I love your Majesty/ According to my bond, no more nor less" (Shakespeare 4).  Lear interprets Cordelia's unwillingness to embellish as disloyalty and, as a result, grants her no land and disowns her.

            Cordelia's refusal to declare her extraordinary love for her father was only her first traitorous act.  After losing the land that was to serve as her dowry, Cordelia is married to the King of France.  Cordelia owes the King of France much gratitude since marrying a bride without a dowry was a virtually...

Find Another Essay On plotlear Parallel Plots of Shakespeare's King Lear

Shakespeare's King Lear Essay

1753 words - 7 pages Shakespeare's King Lear is known as one of his greatest tragedies. The story is full of misfortune, deception and death. The story also contains two plots, a main plot with King Lear, and a subplot with a character referred to as Gloucester. The main plot and subplot in King Lear may have minor differences but the two main characters of each plot share the same fundamental theme of blindness. The theme of a story is the main subject or idea the

William Shakespeare's King Lear Essay

1465 words - 6 pages William Shakespeare's King Lear In William Shakespeare’s tragedy, King Lear,the issue of sight on many levels is a recurring theme. Throughout the play Shakespeare shows that sight does not just come from the eyes. It is shown through the characters of Lear, Gloucester and how they compare to each other. Lear’s character is one that never learns what it means to see without ones eyes. Lear’s sight is hazed

A Comparison Between the Plots of King Lear and Much Ado about Nothing

1194 words - 5 pages . Works Cited Carroll, Joseph. "An Evolutionary Approach to Shakespeare’s King Lear." N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. Lofgren, Urban. "The Complexity of Major Characters in Shakespeare's King Lear." N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. Schute, Marchette. "Shakespeare's Plots: Summaries of Shakespeare's Stories." Shakespeare's Plots: Summaries of Shakespeare's Stories. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. Smith, Lindsay. "Much Ado About Nothing Concept Analysis." N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. Zomparelli, Kristen. "Much Ado About Nothing 's Criticism of the Renaissance Patriarchy." Digital Commons. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014.

William Shakespeare's King Lear

1641 words - 7 pages William Shakespeare's King Lear The locations in Shakespeare’s King Lear fall into three categories: inside a court, out in nature, and in-between nature and civilization. Lear himself also wavers between three states: sanity, senility, and the fine line between the two. These states of consciousness relate directly to the scenes’ locations. However, Lear’s insanity is not the fault of his location in the world; for the most part, he has

The Dysfunctional Family of Shakespeare's King Lear

2868 words - 11 pages The Dysfunctional Family of King Lear        One of the reasons why Shakespeare is so thoroughly read today is because of his ability to portray human nature so accurately through his characters.  Shakespeare's play, King Lear shows us that humans are treacherous and selfish.  We can also relate to the play because of the family issues that Shakespeare incorporates throughout the work.  Lear's family is definitely a dysfunctional one

Analysis of William Shakespeare's King Lear

982 words - 4 pages In King Lear, William Shakespeare predominantly uses the two broad settings. These are the outdoor world and the indoor world. Inside the confines of walls it is Lear who holds power to do as he pleases, but outside the borders of brick and mortar, the very same man is at the mercy of Nature. Human hearts respond with hardness and devaluing ones self when given no love. Lear is one such character who due to family circumstances relies on his

The Wisdom of King Lear's Fool in Shakespeare's King Lear

2833 words - 11 pages The Wisdom of King Lear's Fool in Shakespeare's King Lear King Lear's fool is undoubtedly one of the wisest characters in the play. He is not only able to accurately analyze a situation which many other characters are blind to, but he is also able to foreshadow the actions of many characters and many other incidents to come. The main instruction the fool gives to the king is to beware of doing things that are unnatural, such as giving

Catahrsis in Shakespeare's King Lear

916 words - 4 pages Few Shakespearean plays have caused the controversy that is found at the ending scenes of the tragic playKing Lear. Every human death for people, who witness it, is an image of our own promised end. "Is this the promised end?" asks Albany at the end of King Lear. "Or image of that horror?" replies Kent. The bizarre nature of the scenes at the end of King Lear causes numerous questions to arise. One important issue that critics and readers have

Paratextuality in Shakespeare's King Lear

3319 words - 13 pages Pitching Mad Boy: How Paratextuality Mediates the Distance Between Spectators, Adaptations, and Source Texts. A popular anecdote used to introduce students and spectators to King Lear tells how, for 150 years, the stage was dominated by Nahum Tate’s adaptation, in which Lear and Cordelia are happily reconciled, and Cordelia is married off to Edgar. Here is what N.H. Hudson had to say about Tate: This shameless, this execrable piece of

King Lear's Folly in Shakespeare's King Lear

1227 words - 5 pages King Lear's Folly    In Shakespeare's King Lear, the actions of King Lear and of his daughters bring ruin and chaos to England. Social structures crumble, foreign invaders threaten the land, and, in a distinctly non-Hollywood ending, almost everyone dies tragically. The outlook is very bleak, as many of the problems are left unresolved at the end of the play: There is no one in line to assume sovereignty, and justice and virtue have not

The Earth Centered Theme of Shakespeare's King Lear

3102 words - 12 pages The Earth Centered Theme of Shakespeare's King Lear King Lear is a complicated, apocalyptic play with parallel plots, moral ambiguity, and a messy ending. The play's events were politically charged and historically informed when they were performed in seventeenth century England, as they continue to be to today. Whatever his intentions, Shakespeare has given us several universal truths to consider. One I like to consider is how beneath all

Similar Essays

Plotlear King Lear Essays: Importance Of The Parallel Plot In King Lear

728 words - 3 pages Importance of the Parallel Plot in King Lear           Literature can be expressed using many different techniques and styles of writing, some very effective and others not as much.   One of the methods chosen by many is the use of so called "parallel" plots. "Parallel" plots, or sometimes referred to as minor, give the opportunity of experiencing a secondary storyline going along with

Transformation Of Lear In Shakespeare's King Lear

1714 words - 7 pages King Lear is a Shakespearian tragedy revolving largely around one central theme, personal transformation. Shakespeare shows in King Lear that the main characters of the play experience a transformative phase, where they are greatly changed through their suffering. Through the course of the play Lear is the most transformed of all the characters. He goes through seven major stages of transformation on his way to becoming an omniscient character

Analysis Of Shakespeare's King Lear

1125 words - 5 pages King Lear, by William Shakespeare, is a tragic tale of filialconflict, personal transformation, and loss. The story revolvesaround the King who foolishly alienates his only truly devoteddaughter and realizes too late the true nature of his other twodaughters. A major subplot involves the illegitimate son ofGloucester, Edmund, who plans to discredit his brother Edgar andbetray his father. With these and other major characters in theplay

Shakespeare's King Lear Suffering Of Cordelia In King Lear

1503 words - 6 pages The tragedy of Shakespeare’s King Lear is made far more tragic and painful by the presence and suffering of the king's youngest daughter, Cordelia. While our sympathy for the king is somewhat restrained by his brutal cruelty towards others, there is nothing to dampen our emotional response to Cordelia's suffering. Nothing, that is, at first glance. Harley Granville-Barker justifies her irreconcilable fate thus: "the tragic truth about life to