Divine Justice In King Lear And Antigone

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In and around 441 BC, the idea of divine justice was challenged in the work of Antigone, when she battles Creon to establish a predominant theme of God versus man. During the Elizabethan era/Pre-Christian world, divine justice was a major concept in King Lear because religion played a substantial role in everyday life. Divine justice is belief that a higher power has all the answers to life’s questions, and that good triumphs over evil. In the works of King Lear and Antigone divine justice is a standard of living. Good does not triumph over evil throughout any of these works especially without the honorable characters suffering equivalent demises as the wicked characters. This then supports the concept that there is no such thing as divine…show more content…
The conditions resulting from “bias of nature” (Hermesmann 1-2) indicates that nature is uncaring for humanity, and the possibility of there not being a just force to govern the world. Without established social order, there cannot be any justice. Correspondingly, Lear, like anyone else, falls victim to making several poor decisions. Most noticeably, the misjudgment of Cordelia’s true meaning behind her words. He does not recognize Cordelia’s humble love amid the flattery, which he so desperately craves. In the first act of the play, the darker aspect of how Lear views the universe is revealed. He believes laws and traditions can be broken and defied without any fear of consequences. Lear’s fall from grace of an all-mighty king to an old broken man reveals this breakdown of order. When Lear encounters Edgar, disguised as Poor Tom, during the storm, Lear rips off his clothes symbolizing that “Unaccommodated man is no more than such a poor, bare, unforked animal” (Shakespeare III.iv.113-115). The act of removing his clothes is symbolic because of the breakdown of “Western Hierarchy” and “Societal order in general” (Spotswood 2). The betrayal of Lear by his two oldest daughters, Goneril and Regan, prompts his rebirth. Lear’s horrendous condition is caused by the oblique amount of justice in the Gods. Lear cries out in despair “Who is it that can tell me who I am” (Shakespeare I.iv. 226-237), after Goneril reprimanded Lear; to which “Lear’s

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