King Lear Flaws

Decent Essays

William Shakespeare is famous for the tragic plays that he wrote throughout his lifetime. Students study some of his best known tragic works like Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and King Lear. These tragic plays revolve around a character whose life is influential and heroic, known as the tragic hero. The tragic hero is always a noble member of a royal family, who possesses a tragic flaw which leads to his untimely death and the death of other characters around him, both innocent and guilty. Often times, the tragic hero is a character whose flaw is exaggerated, for as a man of great heroism, his vices must be equally great. Throughout the play, readers sympathize with the character recognizing their own weakness as the character himself realizes his flaw and tries to right all of the wrong that has been done. This is true …show more content…

Even those of royal blood themselves show King Lear the same respect anyone else would give him. The Duke of Burgundy, one of Cordelia’s suitor’s addresses King Lear properly: “Pardon me, royal sir; / Election makes not up in such conditions (Shakespeare 1.1. 204-205). Burgundy addresses King Lear as royal sir, showing that he is of high noble status. King Lear bearing the title of King shows that he is a male of noble birth and therefore fulfills the first trait of being a tragic hero.
Throughout the play, King Lear continuously proves that he is indeed, a tragic hero. As a King, his nobility is unquestionable, but his tragic flaw of pride brings death to himself and others. Unfortunately, once he realizes his mistakes and tries to fix them, it is too late, and both the guilty and innocent pay the price of his pride. However, King Lear’s value is not lost; readers of today can learn from the mistakes of Lear and perhaps prevent the recurrence of such conflicts in their own lives. Tragic heroes like Lear teach readers valuable life lessons that they can learn

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