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King Lear Fate Vs Free Will Essay

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Oedipus Rex and King Lear plays are both about kings as the title suggests. These two plays are very similar in a number of ways. The kings in each play both fall from high positions of power to become some of most hated members in society. Oedipus finds out that he is a murderer and commits incest while Lear turns into a mad beggar. Misguided judgments and decisions are seen in both plays, and questions of fate and free will are posed. While both plays contain some similarities and differences in how each king learns the lessons that accompany their respective descents, they weigh free will against fate and the definitions of good against evil differently. When we examine Oedipus Rex, we see the idea of the hero as the Everyman as in the…show more content…
They both have the chance to see the truth but on some level, they ignore it. Lear would rather hear plentiful compliments than the less exciting truth. Gloucester is very oblivious to the situation. However, by the end of the act, both of them see the truth. Lear sees that Cordelia is his only faithful daughter, and Gloucester discovers Edmund’s wicked plans. Ironically, it is not Until Gloucester can no longer see physically that he sees Edmund’s real behavior. In Oedipus Rex, the characters were not able to make the best decisions since they did not have all the information. That is entirely different with King Lear: Lear and Gloucester had all the answers readily available but decided instead to do what they wanted to do. Oedipus kills his father and takes his mother as his wife. While that sounds wrong, we know that Oedipus did not intend to do it; it was outside his control. In fact, because he acted in an admirable manner within the bounds of his predicted fate, he is considered a hero. While Edmund and the two daughters from King Lear look bad, could their actions be completely dictated by destiny? Do the daughters love their father but are pawns in the bigger picture? Did the eclipse drive them to do their dastardly deeds? If their actions are indeed controlled by fate, they are not necessarily
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