Clear Vision in Shakespeare's King Lear Essay

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Seeing Clearly in King Lear

King Lear of Britain, the protagonist in Shakespeare's tragic play of the same name undergoes radical change as a man, father and king as he is forced to bear the repercussions of his actions. Lear is initially portrayed as being an egotistical ruler, relying on protestations of love from his daughters to apportion his kingdom. Lear's tragic flaw is the division of his kingdom and his inability to see the true natures of people because of his pride while his scathing anger is also shown to override his judgment. He wrongfully disowns his youngest and most truthful daughter Cordelia, preferring his elder daughters, Regan and Goneril, because of an eagerness to be flattered, and they ironically turn
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Kent is shown to be faithful to Lear by confronting him about his sins, and like Cordelia is banished because of his honesty.

The Fool in the play serves as Lear's conscience and social commentator, conveying his poignant messages to the King in cryptic riddles. He says "give me an egg, nuncle, and I'll give thee two crowns", and "thou hadst little wit in thy bald crown when thou gavest thy golden one away", commenting on Lear's lack of judgment in dividing his land. Throughout the play, the Fool observes the disorder that Lear has not only caused to himself but also his entire kingdom while constant references made by him sarcastically indicate the King's foolishness. The Fool says, "she will taste as like this as a crab does to a crab", telling Lear that Regan's nature will be no different than Goneril's. The Fool is partially comparable to Cordelia, in that he is a truth-teller like her and is firmly obedient to him, although the Fool is never reproved for his words, unlike Cordelia, because he is "all-licensed". The fool's role in the play is as an adviser to the King, but the King does not heed his cryptic messages, therefore seeing the outcomes of his actions.

The hostility and disrespect shown by Lear's two elder daughter's Goneril and Regan to the King