King Lear Nature Essay

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The concept of Nature has become layered with many complexities due to the numerous ways this word can be interpreted. It could mean anything from “the inherent character or basic constitution of a person or thing” to “the external world in its entirety” to “a spontaneous attitude” (Merriam Webster). However, despite its many forms, the common bond between all forms of nature is it’s power over individuals. It will always be something that is beyond human control, whether it be the forces that work around people such as weather or animals, or the innate and uncontrollable characteristics within one’s personality. Nature has control over the world, and one can decide to either fight this authority or succumb to it. This idea is seen very…show more content…
In this play, words function as a mask that characters hide behind, while actions show their true intentions. Accordingly, after his daughters Regan and Goneril, who have no deep love for their father, profess their affection for him in a mendacious display of emotion; the daughter that loves Lear most, Cordelia, refuses to compliment him, claiming she “cannot heave [her] heart into [her mouth]” (1.1.88-89). She decides to rely on the actions of her past to reveal her affections, however, Lear doesn’t embrace the value of honesty. He rails against his youngest daughter exclaiming “Let it be so! Thy truth then be thy dower...here I disclaim all my paternal care, propinquity and property of blood, and as a stranger to my heart and me hold thee from this forever." (1.1.110-115). Both Lear’s strong reaction and his rejection of truth and honesty reflect his own insecurities and inability to divulge his genuine nature. Having lived his whole life like a performer on stage, he feels threatened by Cordelia’s rejection of a false grandeur which Lear, whether he realizes it or not, sees as a personal attack against his own fabricated identity. Consequently, lashing out from his jealousy for Cordelia’s ability to remain true to herself, Lear acts against his better judgment by banishing her, and foreshadows the ironic trajectory of this story.
As the play progresses, Lear transcends from a point of supreme power
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