King Lear Power Corrupts Essay

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King Lear; Power Corrupts Absolutely For years, power has been known to blind people from what really matters in life; it can lead to the demise of a person if it is not used responsibly. Shakespeare’s King Lear demonstrates how, because it is a sign of dominance and control, power becomes the poison behind the character’s actions. The lengths they are willing to go to in order to obtain this power are the cause of their problems. The play takes place in an era of hierarchy, where everyone has a societal role. Power’s intoxicating influences the characters to act rashly, disregard the feelings and opinions of others, betray one another, and break tradition. It is for these reasons, and because power is so enticing, that it becomes…show more content…
Ignorance causes one to disregard the feelings and opinions of another. King Lear, who has fallen for his eldest daughter’s empty words, disregards Cordelia who refuses to take part in his ridiculous methods for choosing inheritors. Lear decides to send Cordelia away to France; a decision that angers a long-time friend and servant of Lear, Kent. Kent sums up the courage to speak against the King, “This hideous rashness. Answer my life my judgement/ Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least/ Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sound/ Reverbs no hollowness” (I.i.154-158). Kent encourages Lear to wait a while longer and allow destiny to take its course. Kent believes Lear’s daughters’ actions will speak much louder than their words. Lear was so self-empowered and prideful; however, that he solemnly believed love can be expressed through words. With this belief in mind he exercised his power on those who should matter the most; he sent his beloved daughter Cordelia, and faithful servant Kent, away, “Hear me, recreant! On thine allegiance hear me. / That thou hast sought to make us break out vows/ Which we durst never yet, and with strained pride/ To come betwixt our sentence and our power” (I.i. 170-183). Lear’s power causes him to act ignorantly and rashly against the opinions of others, and therefore left him a blind man. Betrayal can become a powerful weapon
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