Examples Of Respect And Honesty In King Lear

Better Essays
There is one constant throughout the play, the absence of rank. King Lear is set up in a kingdom-like manner, through which an attitude of respect and honesty is expected from the characters. Yet, to the demise of many of the characters, this expected attitude is only portrayed through a few of them. When this attitude of respect and honesty is not portrayed, it is not looked upon as odd or out of character, it is almost normalized. The king goes mad, Kent breaks a stereotype, Gloucester is naïve nature, Edmund as a master of manipulation, and the fool portraying the most knowledgeable of all. The first character to whose attitude portrays this oddity is the king. King Lear goes mad, he completely loses all sense of sanity he had…show more content…
Cooley discusses the “stereotype” of a “Man of Kent” in his journal, “Kent and the Primogeniture in ‘King Lear.’” He shows how originally Kent fits this well-known stereotype of the day, he appears as “the volatile yet supremely loyal counselor, who insists it is his duty to be ‘unmannerly/when Lear is Mad.’” (Cooley 328) as Cooley identifies later in his journal, Kent completely breaks this stereotype. He, instead of agreeing with the distribution of Lear’s kingdom, disagrees and combats the decision. This decisive action molds the eye through which we see Kent, and instead of a “loyal counselor” we see a contemporary thinker. Kent even has some mystery in his plot as well, he has some private contact with this “gentleman.” This private life of such a seemingly honest and open character is strange and unusual. Kent 's actions and choices push the play into a more contemporary light, allowing for more complexity to be observed. The next character with an odd attitude throughout the play is Gloucester. He was very proud to speak on an adulterous affair he had and the outcome, Edmund, from it. He, for an advisor of the king, was seemingly naïve throughout the play. He didn’t see through Edmund’s lies and from his ignorance of the inner workings he was blinded and sent off to wander. Being blinded is interesting and hold some major significance. As Halio points out, “’blinding, particularly the tearing out of eyes, is, as
Get Access